UAE Food ban hits Oman


According to a member of the Omani Shura Concil, the United Arab Emirate’s recent ban of some agricultural produce has had serious negative economic impact on Oman. The step was taken because it was recently discovered that some Omani vegetables and fruits exceeded maximum residue limits (MRL) of pesticides, which could endanger the lives of the people of Emirate.

Pesticide levels in imported melons, watercress and carrots from Oman were found to be above the allowable limits.

According to the Omani Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Fuad Al Sajwani, the ban has badly harmed the country as it has resulted in losses of thousands of riyals for Omani fruit and vegetable vendors.

Al Sajwani however said that the Oman government thought has yet to receive an official reply from the United Arab Emirates about the banned agricultural products.

“We conveyed our observation to the UAE ambassador in Muscat, Mohammad Al Suwaidi, about the banned products and local farms that exported vegetables that had high pesticides limits,” he stated.

He further said that although monitoring of large quantity of agricultural products was very challenging, his ministry has always been working relentlessly in ensuring that such a flaw is thoroughly scrutinized before exporting.

“We export hundreds of tonnes of food products to the UAE on a daily basis. Such mistakes are likely to happen despite the fact that we are always inspecting products before exporting them. It’s difficult to monitor all these farms, but we conduct random inspections which have helped crack down on some culprits,” the minister added.

He also blamed farmers for relying too much on agro-chemical experts – thereby giving free operation on the crops without supervision.

“It is the social responsibility of Omanis to supervise the functioning of their farms, but many of them have entrusted their farms to expats,” he said.


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