The Oman fruits and vegetables market is projected to register a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
Fruits and Vegetable sector remained intact during the pandemic outbreak, Covid-19. Agriculture being considered as the pillar of economic growth, has resulted in the immediate response from the Oman government to ensure food safety and security in the country. According to Oman's agriculture ministry, despite of Covid-19, agriculture and fisheries sector has seen a growth of 9.8% in 2019-2020.
Owing to rising disposable incomes, people in Oman are presently more focused on healthier diets, with more of fruits and vegetables inclusion. In addition, with rising expat population in Oman, there is a shift in the traditional dietary habits toward organic food. This will influence the vegetable production in the country. Production of primary fruits and vegetables in the country accounted for 546.9 thousand metric ton and 713.1 thousand metric ton respectively in 2020. Tomato is the prominent vegetable produced in the country followed by egg plants, cauliflower, chilies and peppers, potato, carrots and turnips cabbages and other brassicas. Dates and watermelon were produced mostly among fruits followed by banana, mango, lemon and papaya in 2020.
Furthermore, Oman Investment Authority (OIA) has announced the launch of a new project to market vegetables and fruits in the Sultanate in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in earlier 2020. The project aims to establish model farms in various governorates according to the comparative advantage, diversity of climates and environments suitable for the growth of various crops. Thus, considering the aforementioned factors market is projected to record a steady growth.
Key Market Trends
Growing Preference For Organic Produce
The demand for organic food is gaining traction among the consumers, bolstered by the consumers’ growing concern for health and wellness. The demand is strong for fresh fruits and vegetables. Higher disposable incomes has resulted the consumers to shift from a carbohydrate-based staple diet to a nutrition-rich diet. In addition, the growing awareness of health among a larger section of the population, especially millennials, is leading them to move toward organic products. To meet this demand, many organic farms have launched new organic products.
The organic farm, Masrooq farm in Ibri, Al Dhahirah Governorate, has totally switched to organic cultivation in 2018 focusing on organic dates. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in cooperation with the authorities concerned, has endeavored to adopt organic farming through research and development that contribute to the promotion of organic farming. Thus, the efforts by the government to promote sustainable farming, as well as the growing preference of the consumers for natural products is driving the demand for organic fruits and vegetables in the country.
Demand for Cucumber Dominates the Market
Local Omani cucumber is one of the important traditional vegetable crops grown in the Sultanate of Oman. Different names, such as Samail, Bahla, and Nizwa, were given to local types, resulting in about 24 different accessions of local cucumber. The increased consumer demand for cucumber in recent years has resulted in the expansion of the area of under cultivation and the introduction of new hybrid cultivars. The damping-off disease is the most important biological constraint to greenhouse cucumber production in Oman. Average losses of over 6.0% of seedlings are common, with much higher losses occurring on many farms, especially where crop management practices are poor, thus acting as a hindrance in the production of cucumbers in the country. However, with increasing focus towards boosting the crop production, various awareness programmes are being conducted on crop management practices, which in turn is leading to the growth of the makret.
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