Oman will host the fifth session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources
for Food and Agriculture, a United Nations body under Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, from September 24 to 28.
The main achievement of the International Treaty is the conservation and sustainable utilisation of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. “The Treaty contains 1.6mn samples of plant genetic resources,” said H E Dr Fuad bin Jaafar bin Mohammed al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) while addressing a press conference at the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries premises in Al Khuwayr on Monday.
“The other achievement is the completion of the Benefit sharing fund of the Treaty under which 32 countries were covered especially those prone to climate change,” he added. The Benefit-sharing Fund invests directly in projects supporting farmers in developing countries to support crop diversity and assisting them and breeders globally adapt crops to the changing needs and demands. The fifth session of the treaty will be preceded by two days of regional consultations on September 22 and 23, which is expected to attract participants from 129 countries.
Besides countries from the region, the session is expected to have participants from Brazil, Indonesia, Italy, Norway and Spain. The ‘Ministerial Conference on Uses of Water for Agricultural Purposes and Food Crops and Food Security' will highlight some of the strategic issues such as water availability in terms of quantity and quality and the influence on it because of drought, high temperature, salinity and soil.
It will also discuss some of the agricultural diseases that affect dates, coconuts, Omani lemon and wheat crop. “The sultanate is committed to the international initiatives for maintaining biodiversity by implementing the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said,” H E Sajwani said. “This has been indicated clearly through the Royal Decrees issued.
The MoAF and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs have set up gene banks and plant parks at different governorates to preserve the environment and counter drought in the country,” he said.