In order to promote national socio-economic development, the Sultanate of Oman is looking to expand the role of the agricultural sector and its contribution towards food security, the improved management and sustainability of natural resources, and ensuring employment opportunities for Oman’s rural population, particularly youth. In March 2013, a Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF) agreement was signed between FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Oman to support the development of a coherent and comprehensive strategic and operational framework for the sustainable development of the agricultural sector until 2030.
Under the UTF, the following major tasks will be addressed: (i) an assessment of the current status of the agricultural and rural sector in Oman, including the role of agriculture and policies affecting the rural sector; (ii) the development of a comprehensive strategy and policy framework for sustainable agricultural development, including priority areas, policy and institutional options and mechanisms, a management and implementation modality, and the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation process; and (iii) an investment action plan, including priority project profiles for the period 2016 to 2020.
Aidan Gulliver, FAO Senior Economist and Senior Investment Officer for the project, commented: ‘‘The next step for FAO is an inception workshop to launch the UTF activities, which is scheduled for May 2013. It is expected that the entire study will be completed by September 2014, and will provide Oman with a road map for future rural development that addresses not only the challenges and opportunities arising from a rapidly changing world, but also reflects a consensus among Oman’s rural population as to their future needs and priorities ’’