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Geographical database for pasture management

Muscat, Oman: The Ministry of Agriculture, Oman, approved a project for building a geographical database to identify the locations, areas, structure of plant vegetation of natural pastures in Oman. This is a crucial step in building the database that will be the foundation for future plans and programmes in pasture development and management. It will also identify and assess the current conditions of pastures through survey and analysis, study of vegetation cover and density, frequency and productivity and renewal of plant and animal load.

With the help of a specialist company for building an integrated database of pastures using the GIS and remote sensing systems, the ministry obtained digital maps of different scales through which it can easily identify the locations and proportions of pastures in the Sultanate. The total pasture area in Oman is estimated at 354,636 hectare, which forms 1.2 per cent of the total area of the country.

An agreement with the Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) aims to collect and assess descriptive data about pastures in the Sultanate and to train and qualify technical cadre in the field of assessing and classifying pasture locations.

Along the guidelines of pasture resources plan to provide pasture saplings in all the regions and governorates of the Sultanate, a fully equipped nursery in Ibri city was established. Similar nurseries exist in other parts of the country and many more are in the pipeline.

Source: Oman Daily Observer