2016/05/09

Overview of coconut in Oman

Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast.

In the Golf region, coconut is almost exclusively grown and produced in the Sultanate of Oman, particularly in the costal plain of the Dhofar Governorate located in the extreme south-eastern of Oman, where climatic, soil and water condition are more favorable for coconut cultivation.The coconut cultivation covers about 463 hectares of which 75% is produced in agricultural holdings and the remaining as private and public gardens according to 2006 Oman Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Report. 

In Oman, the importance of the coconut palm is not only agricultural. Coconut became one of the main symbols of the Salalah city; this palm now plays a role in both tourist industry and urban landscaping.

Localisation of Dhofar region where  coconut palms are growing
It seems that coconut has become an economically important crop for Oman since recent past for its fresh nuts as a natural health drink, especially with the developments in the tourist industry in Oman. Therefore coconut is mainly harvested for drinking purposes while the other uses of coconut such as for oil, copra and culinary purposes in Oman is negligible. The harvest is sold locally for drinking purpose and some export to the Golf region, mainly to the United Arab Emirates, indicating a big potential for the coconut industry in Oman. Coconut farms are generally contracted to outsiders, mainly to people from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Dr. Roland Bourdeix and Dr. Lalith Perera wish to extend their gratitude to the Directors and Scientists of the Salalah Research Station, including Dr. Fabian, the Visiting Scientist from Benin for the excellent support, cooperation and friendship extended by them during their stay in Oman. They also wish to thank Oman Government and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for inviting them for this variety identification mission in Oman.