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Regions > Middle East

Oman expands food production, looks to Iran

By Eliot Beer , 08-Mar-2016

© iStock
© iStock

Oman’s AATCO opens a new factory plant in Jeddah, as OFIC releases new details about its Dhofar dairy project, and the government considers investing in Iranian agriculture.

Located in Jeddah’s industrial area in Saudi Arabia, AATCO’s new factory will produce its range of condiments, including ketchup and mayonnaise, under its Delicio, Khaburah, Barka and Al Bustan brands. According to the firm, the factory will supply customers in the GCC, Levant, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

The new plant will also enable us to accommodate even further growth in the region. AATCO is now uniquely positioned to meets the needs of our food solutions, hotels, restaurants and catering and retail customers,” said Kamel Abdallah, managing director of AATCO, which says it supplies customers in 40 countries around the world.

The factory conforms to European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) standards, and features environmentally friendly chiller and waste disposal systems, according to AATCO. All of the factory’s production lines are fully automated.

Dhofar dairy details

The Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC), Oman’s state-backed food security investment vehicle, released more information on its forthcoming food production projects this month. Most of its previously announced projects  - including a dairy farm in Al Buraimi, poultry production in Ibri, and red meat production in Dhofar, remain on track – but OFIC provided new details on its Dhofar dairy project.

The dairy production collection and manufacture project in the Governorate of Dhofar is expected to produce 90,000 litres per day. The project will include milk collection point, coolers and milk processing plant. The project is expected to cover 6.7% of the local demand for milk and generate job opportunities for Omanis. Besides , the project will provide the healthy environment for enforcing grazing law and preserving environment,” said OFIC chairman Rashid bin Salim al-Masrouri.

Oman eyes Iranian agri investments

Oman’s food security initiatives may also lead it to Iran – last month a delegation from the Sultanate’s Batinah Chamber of Commerce visited Iran’s Khuzestan province, to look for investment opportunities in the region’s agriculture sector.

According to local media reports, Ahmed Shareefat, head of the industry and agriculture committee in the city of Khoramshahr, said there had been no formal agreement – but that a million date palm saplings would be cultivated, with a plan to export the harvest from the trees to Oman. He also reportedly said it had been agreed to provide land and water to Omani investors.

Last month Iran announced the start of a direct shipping route to Oman, with ships operating between Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port and the Port of Sohar in Oman, initially every 15 days. According to Iran’s government news agency, agricultural products will make up the bulk of the shipments between the two countries. 

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