Oman’s Science Café has plenty to offer on its platter
November 24, 2019 | 9:50 PM
by Times News Service
The informative event will also look at what is happening in wheat farming in Oman and future prospects for native varieties.

Muscat: Preserving the farming practices of the past to ensure food security, the manner in which our ancestors cooked to provide maximum nutrition, and ensuring native strains of crops thrive in Oman are among the topics that will be discussed at the upcoming Science Café.

It will be hosted by the Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre (OAPGRC).

The informative event will also look at what is happening in wheat farming in Oman and future prospects for native varieties.

The agenda will also discuss why wheat production matters for food security, what secrets might be held in the DNA of our native wheat strains, what the stakeholders are doing to protect and preserve our indigenous crops, and the opportunities this plant might present for agriculturally-minded, or food focused, entrepreneurs.

Sharing an idea of the important part wheat has played in Omani life for generations and the dilemmas farmers now face Dr Nadiya Al Saady, OAPGRC executive director and Science Café organiser said: “It’s believed wheat was first introduced into Oman over 3,000 years ago. Since then it has been cultivated in oases across the country with local conditions and selecting by farmers over the centuries resulting in a wealth of genetic diversity and characteristics. Feeding families for generations, Oman’s wheat crop is part of our agricultural heritage and culinary traditions

“But these days local varieties of this ancient plant compete for farmers’ attention with imported strains,” she admitted. “

On top of this, wheat now has to jostle for space on local farms with lucrative fruit and vegetable crops. So there is certainly plenty of food for thought at this Science Café and hopefully we might even get some tips on how to make khubz the way our grandmothers did.”

‘Just like grandma used to make: Wheat’s it all about?’ is the title of the Oman LNG sponsored event which will be hosted at Al Rudha Al Khoudh branch at 7.30pm, on 25 November.

To be held this month in Arabic, this OAPGRC Science Café is, as always, free of charge and open to anyone interested in the topic, looking to learn more, or wanting to contribute to the conversation.

Sharing their expert insights at the OAPGRC Science Café will be Said Hamdan Al Hinai – Head of the Date Palm Development Department and Saleh Ali Al Hinai – a seed and plant genetic resources researcher at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with Al Mutasim Al Maamari moderating the evening’s deliberations.

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