The projects are being run by the government-owned Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC), which is also a minority investor in the projects, with a stake of 20%. In total government entities will fund 70% of the projects, with the remainder coming from private investors, according to the Oman Daily Observer.
According to a statement from OFIC chairman Rashid Hamad Al Masroori, the organisation was set up to improve Oman’s food security and self-sufficiency: “Self-sufficiency is a broad concept and does not imply that we need to produce everything in our country. So long as we are able to gain the secured supply lines from various countries by acquiring critical investment partnerships, this vision of self-sufficiency would achieve its purpose.”
Driving domestic production
OFIC subsidiary Mazoon Dairy Company will develop the US$260m dairy project in Al Buraimi governorate, with construction scheduled to start this year, and commercial operations to begin in 2017. The dairy will include a farm, with 4,000 animals planned at opening, and 25,000 by 2026.
“The company will produce approximately 202m litres in 2026 and 985m litres in 2040. This, along with increase in existing production and the new milk collection scheme being promoted, will reduce the import dependency from 69% in 2014 to 13% in 2026,” said a statement from OFIC, adding that Oman could become a net exporter of dairy by 2040.
Poultry operations, based in Ibri, will be run by A’Namma Poultry Co, and will also see investment of US$260m. The facility will include a hatchery, and A’Namma plans to produce 60,000 tonnes of white meat a year by 2020, and by 2030 will boost Oman’s domestic poultry production to 70% of total consumption, up from 36% now.
OFIC’s plans for red meat include a US$104m project to produce up to 55,000 tonnes of meat a year. Animals will be imported from Sudan and Tanzania, with slaughterhouses to be established in Salalah.
“The objective of the project is to Increase Oman’s control of its red meat from 20% to 52% by investing in Omani-controlled production facilities in Africa and Oman. The project would involve capital expenditure, both inside and outside Oman, in buildings, cattle, goat, and sheep ranches, slaughterhouses and cold storage, freezing and packing units,” said an OFIC statement.
Milk and marketing
OFIC is also developing a milk collection and processing project in Dhofar, aimed at improving the milk supply chain in Oman. According to the organisation, it is currently updating a 2010 feasibility study, and will launch the project once this is completed.
In addition, OFIC is supporting the establishment of an agricultural marketing initiative, which will provide sales and marketing support to Omani growers, along with cold-storage facilities. According to OFIC, the project is primarily being run by the Omani Ministry of Agriculture, which is currently evaluating proposals for the project.
Among its future projects, OFIC lists establishment of an agricultural private equity fund, a food-based share portfolio, trading platforms, and a food commodities hedge fund. It also plans to develop a commercial fodder facility within Oman, along with a “food techno park” to serve as a base for research and development.