Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Oman

Oman_MapThe Sultanate of Oman is the third largest country of the Arabian Peninsula. It has generally warm, sunny winters and very hot, dry summers. Fruits occupy 58 % of the agricultural land. Since the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in 1964, the agricultural sector contributes only  around 3% of the GDP but it still engages almost half of the active population.

Plant breeding activities in Oman actually started in the form of introduction and selection in all the crop species at the time when activities on agricultural research were initiated in the late 1960s. Today, agricultural research in Oman is experiencing a rapid expansion phase in tune with the agricultural modernization programs. Two public institutions are carrying out breeding activities around the country in different research centres.

In the Sultanate, the grain crops like wheat, barley and chickpea (as strategic crops for food security) and annual and perennial forages for livestock have always been the priority in research. A more  recent new approach in field crops research has been combating salinity using novel crop species or indigenous rangeland species.

Existing facilities appear to be insufficient to meet the research needs in both plant breeding and biotechnology. Limited trained staff in the field of plant breeding and biotechnology is also a major constraint to the success of plant breeding programmes in the Sultanate of Oman.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding


Directorate General of Agriculture and Livestock Research
Document available in English

During March 2006 research activities in agriculture and livestock have been upgraded to be under the Directorate General of Agriculture and Livestock Research by a Royal Decree. This Directorate, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery, includes four research centres: Agricultural Production Research Centre, Plant Protection Research Centre, Soil and Water Research Centre and Date Palm Research Centre. Biotechnology activities on date are carried out in two laboratories.


College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU)
Website available in English

Established in 1986 SQU is a public sector university. The College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences has included the activity of plant breeding since 1996 and tissue culture since 2000. Plant breeding and biotechnology research is carried out only in vegetables and fruit crops. In biotechnology, work is carried out in research areas like molecular characterization, tissue culture and genetic engineering.


Information by Saleem Kaseemsaheb Nadaf, Hamid Ali Galoub, Ali Kharbotly, Ali H. Al-Lawati and Ahmed Nasser Al-Bakri (2006) - Information based on the Oman's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 24-03-2010, GIPB.