Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Farming in Fujairah

The Fujairah economy has depended for centuries upon the two ‘fs’—fishing and farming.

Dotted among the wadis (valleys) of the Hajar Mountains are lots of small farms, many of which are still using agricultural methods that have been employed for centuries.

The farms may be watered from underground springs, rain water that has been captured in dams or fed by the traditional falaj water channels. Increasingly modern sprinkler irrigation systems are being implemented through which fertilizer and pesticides flow along with the water.

While owned and managed by Emiratis, most of the manual labour is carried out by farm workers from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The farms don’t appear to be economical enough to fully sustain a large family but the hiring of labour allows the owners to hold down jobs in the city which possibly provide the primary source of their income.

Most Fujairah farms will have their date palm grove then they will diversify with a range of produce that could include fruit and vegetables (sold at the road or the Fujairah markets), cows for dairy products and goats (meat).

A farm I visited recently in Bithna had all of the above plus shrubs and seedlings (sold at a roadside nursery), camels (kept for milk and racing), horses (a business for city people wanting to ride) and gazelles. The owners were also in the process of establishing a couple of motels on their farm for tourists to enjoy a retreat in the quiet of the Hajar Mountains.

Take a Look
Some pictures of the Bithna farm are posted in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

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