FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Family farmers running Oman’s only organic farm

Tucked away 70 km’s from Muscat’s city center in the coastal city of Barka, lies 10 acres of agricultural land appropriately called “Pairidaeza” (Paradise in the Persian language). What separates this particular stretch of land from the others, is that Pariridaeza is Oman’s first and only certified organic farm.

Pairidaeza first began with Narjes Mirza’s love for growing fresh organic agricultural produce for her family. This passion grew on to become a mission for her to introduce organic and chemical-free fruit and vegetable options for those seeking a healthier alternative for their food.

As a result of her relentless efforts, Narjes became the first and only Omani to have received OneCert certification by the United States Department of Agriculture, and has since gone to accumulate several accolades throughout the years.

Narjes and her daughters each have their area of specialty in running the farm. Together, they transformed Pairidaeza into a local household name which now supplies produce to many large retail supermarkets in the country. “My very own family forms the core of this farm’s operations. One of my daughters takes care of everything that has to do with seeds, another is looking after dairy production and yet another in overseeing the harvesting. Together, we make a very effective team in ensuring our products are up to standard and of the highest quality.”

However, running the country’s only organic farm doesn’t come without its challenges. The intense temperature in hot summer months and difficulties caused by COVID-19 have triggered major obstacles in both production and distribution. “The beginning of the pandemic was difficult,” Narjes said, since there were restrictions on movement, “but we endured and pushed as much as we could until we obtained the required permits to be producing and delivering as normal. I just couldn’t let my produce go to waste!” It is thanks to Narjes’ perseverance that Pairidaeza farms managed to overcome these obstacles and expand its production line this year to include and offer a variety of dairy products, in addition to vegetables.

Although the concept of organic farming in Oman is still relatively new, there has been an increase in demand for organic foods over the years. As the pioneer of organic farming in Oman, Narjes hopes that her local experience will inspire other farmers locally, regionally and globally. 


23/11/2020

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