The Al Sunainah site is currently under development in Al Buraimi governorate by the Mazoon Dairy Company, a subsidiary of Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OHIFC), the government’s food investment arm.
According to estimates by Tanfeedh, the national programme for enhancing economic diversification, the project will become the country’s biggest dairy when it begins operations.
Construction of the venture—part of a slew of investments backed by the Omani government to help advance the nation’s food security objectives—officially kicked off this week with a foundation-stone laying ceremony.
The site will feature a dairy farm, feeding centre, milking parlours, staff accommodation, management offices, utilities and connecting road network.
A second phase of development will bring a processing plant, said Saleh Al Shanfari, chief executive officer of OFIHC.
Starting with an initial herd of 4,000 Holstein-Friesian cows, the farm will house 25,000 head by 2026 on a 1,500 hectare site. Mazoon anticipates that the first cattle will begin to arrive at the farm in early 2018, while the project will start production by the third quarter of the year.
According to Tanfeedh’s research, the Buraimi dairy will not only help the sultanate dramatically reduce its dependency on dairy imports, but crucially it will also have a positive impact on Oman’s balance of payments with regard to foodstuff imports.
Tanfeedh predicted that the dairy will increase domestic milk supply from a current level of 31% to 87% by the time it reaches full production of 200,000 tonnes of milk and milk products.