MUSCAT: To help boost self-sufficiency in the food sector, around 100 food related projects worth a total investment of RO 1.3 billion are currently in development or operation in Sultanate of Oman, according to Dr Saud bin Hamoud al Habsi, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources.
Speaking to local media at the inauguration of a mega table egg production farm on Thursday, he added that the Omani government, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, is committing to enabling the private sector to venture into the food sector, as well as access overseas markets for their products.
Gulf International Poultry Farm (GIPF), a table egg production facility set up in Al Dhahirah Governorate with an investment of RO 26 million, will rank among the biggest ventures of its kind in the GCC region at full capacity. Output of table eggs is projected to reach 350 million eggs annually when the poultry farm operates at full capacity.
GIPF has been established by a partnership of Oman Flour Mills, Gulf Japan Food Fund, Wise Foods and IFFCO.
With the launch of GIPF, Oman’s combined table egg production capacity will cater to around 90 – 95 per cent of domestic consumption, said Dr Al Habsi. The project will also open up the table egg production sector to foreign export market, he stated.
“In our periodic meetings with the private sector, the Ministry has encouraged key players to contribute to Oman’s food security goals by achieving self-sufficiency in key sectors. International indicators point to a reassuring improvement in the overall food security situation in the Sultanate of Oman. There is a significant and remarkable improvement on this front,” the Minister noted.
He also voiced the government’s commitment to ensure affordability of basic food commodities in Oman in the face of inflationary trends internationally. “One of the most important challenges that we face concerns price increases internationally. For our part, we are striving to ensure that prices of food commodities are affordable for everyone in the local market,” he said.
Dr Al Habsi also commended the role of the Gulf Japan Food Fund, a private equity fund backed by Mizuho Bank and The Norinchukin Bank, in supporting Oman’s food security objectives.
Japanese Ambassador Jota Yamamoto noted the role of Japanese technology and expertise in ensuring food safety and quality control at the new poultry farm – a contributions that extend to other sectors of Oman’s infrastructure and economy.
Japanese companies and technologies, he said, are behind the production of around 30 per cent of Oman’s desalinated water and 61 per cent of electricity supplies. In addition, sensors for automobiles, pipelines for energy connectivity, and other materials, parts and technologies have their origins in Japan, he added.