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To cope with rising prices and increasing spending Ideas to rationalize spending and reduce consumption


By Safa Al-Abrawiya

The latest statistics from the National Statistics Center showed that the rate of public consumption in the Sultanate increased by 23%. Worldwide studies have shown a high proportion of spending and consumption so that it has become an increasing phenomenon, which led to the emergence of ideas and solutions to reduce the severity of the phenomenon and adapt to it. Among these ideas are recycling, home farming and relying on the family to prepare foods to sell. These steps have proven their worth in reducing consumption. This week's consumer page reviews a range of initiatives and ideas adopted by a number of consumers in the Sultanate in the coming lines.



Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghafri:
I call on consumers to take advantage of the home spaces with aquatic agriculture.
Mazen Al-Rawahi:
I rely on my recycling project as a full income.
Yahya Al-Zaabi:
Domestic agriculture has been present since ancient times, but its diversification was very limited.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghafri, head of Aflaj research unit at Nizwa University and a researcher in the field of agriculture and conventional irrigation systems and ethnological hydrology, stated that that the idea of ​​aquaculture or agriculture without soil is very old and has started for thousands of years in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In the 20th century, NASA began research to find a way for humans to live out of the earth. The application has only recently been realized, He explained that the idea of ​​this type of agriculture is based on its growth in the middle of the soil or directly into the water, as if plants are planted in a porous medium to stabilize the roots of plants such as perlite, bithmus, sand or gravel.

Various types
Dr. Al-Ghafri explained that there are different types of aquatic agriculture in which the roots of plants get nutrients from water directly. As the roots also need oxygen, there must be oxygen in the water. The nutrients are added to the water in the form of soluble salts and aqueous solutions. In aerobic agriculture, the roots are sprayed with a spray containing nutrients initially to germinate seeds which are grown in an agricultural medium such as palm, sand, bithmus, pearlite, or gravel or even wool sheep.
Many benefits
There are many benefits to aquaculture compared to soil agriculture. Aquaculture requires very few spaces, as hundreds of plants can be grown in an area of only ten Square meters. It is also very suitable for vertical agriculture. For example plants can be planted in tubes placed on top of each other. One of the benefits of aquaculture is that it saves large amounts of water up to 90%. Its water use efficiency is close to 100%. The water in this way is only what evaporates from plants and what is stored in them because water in aquaculture systems are recycled. Al-Ghafri also adds that plants grown in water grow faster than they grow if planted in the soil and are cleaner and less susceptible to insects and pests and do not emit unpleasant odors. In addition, aquaculture needs less attention, so they do not need to be fertilized or plowed or any processes in the soil. One of the advantages of aquaculture is that it succeeds almost anywhere, even if no space is available inside the house garden, it cancan be planted on the roof of the house. They can also be planted in rooms if adequate lighting is provided. Al-Ghafri explained that hydroponic instruments are now available in the market at cheap prices. For example, solutions do not cost much if their price does not exceed one riyal per liter, which is enough to feed 100 plants for three months!

Many crops can be grown in such a system, including vegetables such as mint, basil, parsley, radishes, watercress, lettuce, mallow, spinach, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, beans, papaya and cowpea as well as some fruits such as strawberries and melons. One such system can provide daily self-sufficient vegetables for home.

Al-Ghafri explained that despite the benefit that can be gained from hydroponics and aeronautics, some devices, of course, require continuous care and maintenance, and they cannot be used for agriculture throughout the year due to the warm atmosphere in the Sultanate. They also need a lot of time to take care of crops.

Household agriculture
Yahya Obeid Al Zaabi, who is interested in home farming and is working to introduce it through his Instagram account (ya7yooon), is involved in the same field of interest. He explained that there is hardly a house devoid of trees, but trees that are not used in the right way, like the tropical almond tree and neem tree in addition to plants used for medical reasons but have disappeared due to health development. If we talk about domestic agriculture, we find that it has existed since ancient times, but its diversification was very limited. We did not find peppers, cucumbers, melons and other trees that could fill the family's needs of vegetables and some fruits.

“I can recognize the importance of home agriculture but I also can not underestimate the enormous amount of difficulties that limit its continuity, such as soil, which has become almost free of the basic elements because of the weakness of the vital cycle, and weather factors that govern us to start with the entry of winter and end with the beginning of spring entry, and then rely on markets to meet our needs”, he said. “And poor awareness of agriculture in general may all be reasons why the previous generation chooses to plant certain trees for their ability to withstand weather factors and to tolerate soil inertia.”

Real feasibility
Al Zaabi says that the feasibility of home farming depends on a number of criteria, including the availability of an area that can be exploited to provide production with a material return or, at the very least, cover vegetarian long-term family needs. It has the advantage of plants free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers that negatively affect the health of the individual. Domestic factors such as large areas and water sources need to be considered. He explained that today we can address all the problems that hinder the continuity of domestic agriculture through the use of some compounds that help improve the soil and activate its vital cycle. Some may face another soil problem, the dense stones accumulated as a result of urbanization and construction. Thus, soil can be dispensed with as a major impediment to domestic agriculture through the use of other clean agricultural methods such as hydroponics which can also save massive water depletion. So there are many options and people can choose what suits them.

Mazen bin Saeed Al-Rawahi is interested in recycling and promotes it through his account on Instagram (mazin.alrawahi). The beginning was just a hobby in the implementation of various designs and innovations. After a period of practicing the hobby, he has developed the skill of making multiple products. He then moved on to making products (outdoor furniture) from recycled materials such as tires and tanks. The availability of raw materials has greatly facilitated his continuity. As time went by, the products he made became competitive in the market. He also worked on workshops for school and university students to introduce them to the idea.

Benefits of recycling
He explained that the benefits of recycling is to provide solutions to one of the most important problems globally, which is environmental pollution issues. Recycling stands out as one of the most effective solutions that is reliable for its economic benefits. It is possible to manufacture many recycled products with excellent quality and competitive ability in the markets since they are less expensive and suitable for the consumer.

Art and creativity
Al-Rawahi said that recycling is an art in which one can unleash his talent and ideas for creativity in this field. What makes it easy is the low material cost and it is also possible to turn it with serious practice to an income source. For example I rely on this project as a full income, and I see that the culture of recycling and the exploitation of used objects must be creative in order to spread the message among the community.

For her part, Fatima Daderhim shared her experience in the productive families project by creating her own home kitchen, known as Um Ammar Kitchen (0rsiaa). Her main idea was to turn her passion and skill into a profession. She said that everyone who tastes her cooking likes it. She was encouraged and she started selling meals but in small portions. Her customers were interested in taste and quality.

Reputation and customers
She said that after a while she started to increase the quantity and cook more in addition to cooking more products. As a result, she built a larger kitchen to meet the customer needs regarding traditional meals which they like to have made by Omani hands.



 No one imagined that greed and deviousness would reach such a staggering level that thought exist only in movies and investigative drama shows , yet it became a stark reality when some merchants sought to make a profit on the account of health and safety of the young and adults alike utilizing the God-given intellect that they posses into destruction and evil instead of serving public good , the devious plan used ( Back to school ) season by carving holes inside books and hiding chewing tobacco inside in away from the inspectors notice targeting the younger generation with these destructive materials that effect the health , mind and safety of our kids .
 The Judicial officers noticed that consumers come very frequently to a specific shop during one of the inspection tours which raised their suspicions to strengthening the monitoring and follow up on that matter , students were spotted in the shop as well , the Officers expediently intervened to inspect the shop , the inspection did not reveal anything at first , however , the officers noticed a stack of books and decided to inspect it , surprisingly , they found more than 600 pouches of chewing tobacco on its way to be sold and distributed on consumers and students , the officers immediately issued a violation and referred the case to the General Prosecution to deal with the matter as per the Law

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Sultanate of Oman