Muscat: The total produce of dates in Oman reached 308,000 tonnes in 2013 from 281,000 tonnes in the previous year, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The ministry had conducted a detailed survey of the most important crop of the country during 2013. It revealed that out of the 308,000 tonnes, only 7,000 tonnes was exported.
According to the statistics, the local consumption within the country was 164,000 tonnes when the population of the country was 2,159,000. On an average, a single person consumed 60kg of dates annually.
This is in addition to 1,710,000 expatriates, who, on an average consumed around 20kg of dates per person.
Date palm is considered the main crop in Oman which occupies 54 per cent of total agricultural land in the country. In 2009, Oman produced 257,000 tonnes of dates. It produced 276,000 tonnes in 2010, 263,000 tonnes in 2011, and 281,000 tonnes in 2012, according to the data.
Among the governorates, North Batinah was the leader in date production with over 86,400 tonnes which is 28.02 per cent of total production of dates in the country. Dakhiliyah was at the second position with 63,200 tonnes while North Batinah was at the third position with 49,700 tonnes.
However, Dakhiliyah is at the top position in terms of average production of single date palm tree which with 63kg dates per tree. In South Batinah, a single palm tree yielded 48kg dates while in Dhahirah it produced 47kg dates on an average.
Similarly, wilayat of Sohar is on top of the wilayats of the country in terms of producing dates. It produced 28,800 tonnes which is 9.32 per cent of the total production of the country. It is followed by Suwaiq which produced 27,000 tonnes and Ibri which produced 21,100 tonnes.
The other areas include Rustaq (19,900 tonnes), Bahla (14,200 tonnes), Nizwa (13,500 tonnes), Saham and Barka (11,000 tonnes), and Mudhaibi (10,400 tonnes) last year. These wilayats contributed more than half of the total produce of dates of the country. The Muscat governorate produced 10,145.23 tonnes of dates in 2013. In this governorate Quriyat wilayat produced half of the total produce of the governorate with 5,129.48 tonnes of dates. Seeb produced 2,266.45 tonnes, Bausher 1,315.40 tonnes, Amerat 1,063.96 tonnes, Muttrah 8.86 tonnes and Muscat wilayat 361.07 tonnes of dates, last year.
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