Muscat: International experts will discuss how Oman can become a nation with secure supplies of food that are sustainable for generations to come at the International Conference on Food Security, Agriculture Sustainability and Pulses which opened on Monday.
Key crops for Oman, other than dates, include pomegranates and pulses, which were discussed at the conference, which will conclude on Tuesday.
Senior government officials, agro food industry CEO’s and researchers will exchange papers and outline global best practices. Speakers participating in the event are from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia, India and Oman.
Dr Fuad bin Jaafar Al Sajwani, minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, supported the idea of agro industrialisation, sustainable agriculture and the development of food industries for meat, milk, poultry, fisheries and the seed industry.
During the conference, several presentations were made by Eng Salem Amour Al Shanfari, CEO, Oman Investment Holding, Dr Rashid Al Yahyai, Dean, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, Magy Habib, Special Ambassador for International Year of Pulses, the Food and Agriculture Organisations of the United Nations, and Dr Stoffer Loman from Nutriclaim Netherlands.
During the International Conference on Food Security, a road map for the Sultanate of Oman was presented by Eng Salem Amour Al Shanfari, CEO, Oman Investment Holding.
Further, Agricultural Sustainability was addressed by Dr. Rashid Al Yahyai, Dean, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences. Habib, the Special Ambassador for International Year of Pulses, Food and Agriculture Organisations of the United Nations, explained the benefits of pulses. Dr.Loman from Nutriclaim Netherlands explained the health and nutritional benefits of pulses.
The conference was organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and supported by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, the Public Authority for Food Stores and Reserves, Oman Animan and Plant Genetic Resources Center, The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, the Oman Water Society, including various apex government and corporate bodies responsible for the Oman National Agenda for developing the Agro Food Sector. Emphasis on Productivity and Development of the Sultanate of Oman's Agro Food Industry, Sustainable Cropping Systems and Investments by Government and Corporations to ensure a sustainable food security system will also be addressed.
Dr Amani Al Rawahi, Chairperson of the Conference Organising Committee, said that 2016 was declared the Year of Pulses by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN - FAO). The conference will focus on the role of pulses in human nutrition, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory effects of pulses, and their role in curing human ailments, along with recommendations on the utilisation of pulses in Oman. Economical backgrounds and overviews, with highlights about consumption patterns, trade and potential production of pulses, and with emphasis on the Sultanate of Oman, the economic importance of pulses and commercial harvesting of pulses, are among the topics to be discussed at this conference.
Dr M. Mohamed Essa, the Conference Scientific Committee Chair, mentioned that the conference has authorities presenting papers, including Agriculture Sustainability by Dr. Rashid Al Yahyai - Dean of the College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University, along withthe Food Security Road Map by Eng. Saleh Amour Al Shanfari - CEO Oman Food Investment Holding and Chair of Food Security Committee at OCCI. Pulses- Its Consumption and Health benefits will be presented by Netherlands-based Dr. Loman - Senior Consultant on Nutritional Science and Regulatory Affairs, a world renowned expert specializing in international health claims. This is the first time that the Omani Agro Food Industries CEO's and Chief Nutritionists will hear Dr. Loman of NutriClaim, as he has agreed to present 'Getting Health and Nutrition Claims Right', which is very important for Omani Agro Food manufacturers, who are exporting Omani products to international food markets.
Sadiq Ahmed Khan, Managing Director of Tafani Events and Research, mentioned that the conference is timely due to the large scale investments in the Omani food and agriculture sector. Such large scale agro industrialisation creates demand for increased agriculture activities to provide raw materials. This event aims towards the integration of the government, research and corporate sector, which will come together and achieve the goal of developing both cultivation and production through Agro Industrialisation.