Muscat: Mohammed Bin Saeed Al Qanoubi’s banana farm that yielded him a bumper crop season after season was destroyed as Cyclone Shaheen raged. Al Qanoubi was drawn into farming and agriculture seeing his father’s passion in the same field. The report in a local news site said he was shocked when he saw his farm had returned to nothing, which meant he had to start from scratch.
“But I am hopeful of reviving the farm with the help and support from people and the government. Although I started my farming tryst with crops like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers of all kinds, pumpkins, zucchini and other crops, I moved to banana because of cost-effectiveness of farming and low maintenance.”
Al Qanoubi started with growing bananas in a very simple way in a small piece of land he owned. After gaining sufficient experience, he decided to expand the farm by renting land to complete his project.
“What is commonly found in Oman is large number are Omani bananas called Malandi, which are small in size. I planted more than 6 types, but the best two types are William Banana and Grand Nine Bananas, which are among the global varieties grown in the Philippines, India, Ecuador and other countries,” he said.
Till Shaheen struck his farm, Al Qanoubi made good profits annually at a rate of 140 riyals per ton. “If you have one acre, the amount you produce is 25 tons per acre at 3,500 riyals, if you sell it directly to retail seller. The more cultivated area, the higher the productivity and the higher the profit.”
Al Qanoubi is hopeful of another bumper crop of bananas by the next harvest season.