The ministry has planted the smooth cactus in an location of 270sq m as a field experiment, stated Eng Mohammed bin Muslim Tabuk, a researcher at the Agricultural Research Centre in Salalah.
Eng Tabuk stated, “The ministry conducted a study to cultivate the imported cacti as a field experiment in Salalah. The study was aimed at adapting the cactus plant to climatic conditions in Salalah plains and Dhofar mountains and check its ability to resist agricultural pests.”
A team of 4 worked on the study, he stated. In May 2012, the study began in Salalah and the team chosen 5 superior varieties of cactus to be cultivated on an location of 250sq m at the Qauroon Heriti farm.
The ministry also granted farmer Ali bin Said Ali al Hamr 60 seedlings of cactus for planting in his farm in the wilayat of Thumrait in January 2018.
Eng Tabuk stated, “It’s not tough to cultivate cactus. It include a higher percentage of water, mineral salts and vitamins, so it can be employed as cattle feed.
“The study came out with results such as the adaptability of cactus plant to the climatic conditions in the Salalah plains and the wilayat of Thumrait. Cactus resists farm pests and provides vegetation diversity. Cactus also produces delicious fruits.” The final results of the study will aid much more analysis and expansion in the cultivation of cactus plant in Dhofar and other governorates, he stated.
“The ministry will maintain the cultivated areas as a nursery and provide seedlings to farmers.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily