Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman is planning to import wheat from Australia and Argentina following India’s decision to stop wheat exports to countries around the world, including the Sultanate of Oman.
Haitham Al Fana Al Araimi, CEO of the Omani Flour Mills Company, confirmed to Times of Oman that “India was supposed to continue exporting wheat until July 2022, but announced the suspension of exports, and this is what made us head to Australia and Argentina. India is still exporting wheat but it is limited to countries that have government-to-government agreements.”
Wheat cultivation in Oman grew by 19 per cent during the agricultural season 2020/2021 to reach 2,649 tonnes compared to the 2019/2020 season.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water Resources said the total area of land under wheat cultivation in 2020/2021 was 2,449 acres, constituting a 19.6 per cent rise compared to the last season. The number of farmers also increased by 5.5 per cent.
The ministry also added that the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah topped in terms of the highest cultivated area under wheat cultivation with 1,109.6 acres, or 45 per cent of the total area under wheat cultivation in the Sultanate.
Al Dakhiliyah also came first in terms of wheat crop production, with 1,465.6 tonnes or 55 per cent of the total wheat production.
However, wheat production in Oman is not sufficient to meet its domestic needs. Al-Araimi pointed out that the Indian government has taken the decision to ban exports following drought affecting its crops, besides hike in prices of wheat in local markets.
Al-Araimi confirmed that the Omani Flour Mills Company had secured its wheat requirement from India until the end of the year.
He further said that wheat harvest season in Australia and Argentina is scheduled to start in November, and the company will import wheat from these two countries at that time.
He explained that Australia is the sixth largest wheat exporter in the world, followed by Argentina at the seventh spot.