Department of Natural Resource Economics

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The Department of Natural Resource Economics (NRE) educates Omani professionals in the areas of economics and management applied to agriculture, fisheries, water and food industry.  The Department offers a Bachelor degree in Natural Resource Economics and a minor in Natural Resource Economics for students from other Departments at the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences (CAMS). NRE offers a Master of Science on Natural Resource Economics and a PhD program. The PhD program started in September 2014.

The Bachelor degree in Natural Resource Economics applies economic principles and decision-making theory to the optimal use of renewable natural resources such as fish, food and water. The sustainability and enhancement of the productivity of the fishery sector and maximization of the economic rent of the wild fish products, sea services and amenities are important policy goals. The Sultanate is a water-scarce nation whose agricultural sector heavily depends on groundwater quantity and quality. Furthermore, the allocation of water should be economically efficient among the agricultural, urban and industrial sectors with emphasis on sustainability and a circular economy. Environmental policies in the agricultural and marine sectors are important complements to courses of science and technology offered in marine and food resources at CAMS. 

 The combination of economic theory, biology and environmental laws and policies prepare students for productive careers in the public and private sectors.  The major objective of the department is to produce Human Capital and build capacity by equipping students with coherent and complementary sets of scientific and social-science theoretical and applied methods.  Students will have integrated use of economic concepts, modelling skills, and problem-solving capabilities, scientific and technological knowledge and teamwork to ensure sustainable use of the renewable natural resources of Oman and its environment. 

Our graduates have the following skills:

Demonstrate in-depth knowledge on theory and analytical methods in natural resource economics and business

The ability to think critically and address problems especially in a team context

The ability to identify, formulate, analyze and solve economics and business problems

The ability to communicate orally and in writing

The ability to engage in life-long learning

Demonstrate  knowledge of contemporary issues

 

The skills graduates learn in the Department of NRE at SQU are applicable across all economic sectors. The courses offered to ensure that graduates will have particular strengths in jobs where commercial and economic analysis is required. Thus they can be expected to make valuable contributions in government and other public sector institutions as well as in the private sector, as applied economists, business analysts, market researchers and planners. Our students are equipped with a myriad of quantitative tools such as statistics for economics, optimization, econometrics and cost-benefit analysis.

Based on the Standard Arab Gulf Directory for Occupational Classification and specification of employment categories by the Ministry of Manpower of the Sultanate of Oman and a survey done among NRE graduates on employment profile three major clusters of career opportunities in which NRE graduates excel are identified. These career clusters in both public and Private sectors are:

   Management

   Policy Analysis and Research

  Teaching and Extension

 

 

 

Slim Zekri             

Associate Professor and Head

Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Economics

The Bachelor of Science in NRE is a 4 years degree with 125 credits. The degree is open exclusively for nationals from Oman or GCC countries. Students have to take 12 credits from University requirements/electives; 29 credits as College requirement; the credits offered in the department are 54 as required and 21 as elective courses.

 

MSc in Natural Resource Economics

The NREC MSc. is a two years degree with 24 credits and thesis. During the first year students are required to finish the 24 credits courses. The second year is consecrated to the research work and thesis writing. The MSc. program is open for national and international students.

 

PhD in Natural Resource Economics

The PhD in NREC is a 3 years program based on research. It is open for national as well as international students. The PhD program in Natural Resource Economics started in September 2014. The program focuses on applied research in areas related to water demand management, fisheries resource management, and the economics of food production and distribution. The PhD program is open to holders of master degrees in Natural Resource Economics and other closely related fields. Admission to the program is subject to English proficiency tests, as well as application and screening procedures in accordance with SQU’s Postgraduate Academic Regulations. The program is based on research. However, if advised by the Thesis Supervisory Committee doctoral students will be required to take courses from a list of postgraduate courses available in the NRE Department or other relevant departments. The Thesis Supervisory Committee normally includes the supervisor and two other members proposed by the supervisor in consultation with the student. The final thesis should be defended in an oral examination at Sultan Qaboos University.

 

 

The Department offers three programs as follow: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Economics
  • Master of Science in Natural Resource Economics
  • PhD in Natural Resource Economics

The faculty in the NRE Department are actively engaged in research activities highly relevant to Oman and to the region.  Research topics deal with food security and WTO Multilateral trading system and market-oriented policies; Institutional, economic and technical aspects of groundwater monitoring as a common resource pool; Small-scale dairy farmer’s participation in alternative marketing channels; Adding value to local products: Jabel Akhdar rose water; Market potential for organic food in the GCC countries; Agricultural sustainability and the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agricultural cooperatives in rural development and food security; Fish market integration and price variation. Several multidisciplinary projects are undertaken within the college as well as in collaboration with other colleges or international universities.  Furthermore, Our faculty are engaged in consultancies with local institutions and ministries as well as international institutions such as FAO and WB to be in touch with real world problems and to divulgate the research results.

 

WTO Chair

Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) was awarded a WTO Chair  in 2014 along with six other universities in a highly competitive process. The chair is hosted at the Department of Natural Resource Economics. The aim of the chair program is to enhance knowledge and understanding of WTO and the trading system among academicians, students and policy makers through research in trade related issues, curriculum development and outreach activities

The degree in agricultural economics is intended to augment basic education in the science and technology of agricultural and marine sciences with the fundamentals of economics and business. Fundamental knowledge of economic and business principles is essential for a graduate to be effective in any private sector enterprise involving the production, processing, transport, and marketing of the products of the land and the sea. Knowledge of economic principles is also essential for public sector employment involving planning and natural resource conservation, management and policy. The agricultural economics major emphasizes coursework in fundamental principles of business and economics.  Specialized courses apply these principles to production, marketing, management, and agricultural, food, and natural resource policy. The internship is intended to expose the student to real-world economic and business situations involving agricultural and marine products. It is anticipated that internships will be mainly oriented toward the private sector.

 

 

Specific Internship Objectives:

 

  • To become acquainted with real business practice and situations.
  • To apply academic knowledge to practical economic and business problems, thus bridging the gap between theory and practice.
  • To hasten the preparation of the student for productive employment in the private sector.
  • To become familiar with, and get involved in, small business administration: record keeping, budgeting, and planning.
  • To learn the different types of business organization.
  • To learn how to develop a business plan: marketing, financial management, and daily operation.
  • To learn the various steps in development planning: project, sectoral and macro-economics. (For students taking internships in Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries).
  • To participate in the design and implementation of firm/farm surveys.
  • To become familiar with the public measures to promote rural development.  (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries).
  • To become familiar with public measures to promote export and competition. (Ministry of National Economy).
  • Any other activities requested by the private or public organizations.

 

Department of NRE

NRE Internship Coordinator:

Phone: +968-24141244

Fax: +968-24413418

Head of the Department

Slim Zekri

 

Associate Professor and Head

Department of Natural Resource Economics
College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences
Sultan Qaboos University
PO Box 34, Al Khoudh123
Sultanate of Oman
Phone:   (+ 968) 2414 1243
Fax:        (+ 968) 2441 3418
Email:    silm@squ.edu.om


Departmental Coordinator

Sabra Khamis Al-Rijaeby 

 

Coordinator

 Department of Natural Resource Economics
College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences
Sultan Qaboos University
PO Box 34, Al Khoudh123
Sultanate of Oman

Phone:(+ 968) 2414 1244

Email:sabra@squ.edu.om