Oman is in the world’s arid belt and water consumption depends on groundwater and desalinization plants. The volume of average annual rainfall has been estimated as 62 mm, varying from less than 20 mm in the internal desert regions to over 300 mm in the mountain areas. This rainfall on mountain areas yields to occasional groundwater recharges.
Spanish agriculture also faces water scarcity. Hence, the knowledge and experience gathered by Spanish partners can support Oman agricultural development better than other experts. Spain is conducting the world highest investments in irrigation. Improving agricultural water use is compulsory under Mediterranean conditions, especially due to climate change challenges. Spanish technology is quite relevant in this regard. Furthermore, there is a long collaboration history between Spain and the Arabian world.
Despite of water scarcity, Oman strategy considers food security and agricultural development, due to population growth and increasing food demands. Groundwater is the main reliable source of new water supplies. In that context, Water & Life Agriculture LLC has been created, funded by Al-Hosn Investment Co. SAOC (85%, Government of Oman), MSC Fábricas agricolas (10%) and Zeta Amaltea (5%). The company uses state of the art technology to produce Tomato, Cherry Tomato, Cucumber and Capricorn Peppers in greenhouses through hydroponic technology.
Zeta Amaltea has developed an information network, able not only to control groundwater status, but also to model and simulate Omani water resources. Zeta Amaltea is ready to provide accurate assessments and management tools for a reliable use of groundwater resources for Omani agricultural development, taking in account future climate risks and eventual market failures.
Knowledge transfer and technical exchange between the Spanish and Omani partners need to be strengthen. A plan for capacity building of Omani human resources must be pointed out and developed. A more global approach, taking in account climate risks, market failure and other vulnerabilities must be followed.
Water&Life partners have a clear commitment with sustainable development in Oman. We aim to provide state-of-the-art technology regarding agricultural water use, as well as management of groundwater resources. We expect to transfer our know-how to local personnel, building Omani capacities regarding agricultural water use. Fostering of entrepreneurship based on local resources is another future goal. Focus will be set on export agricultural products to other countries in Persian Gulf, as well as developing gastronomic and touristic offer, based on local products.