Set up with the idea of boosting Oman’s self-sufficiency in the dairy sector, Omani company, Mazoon Dairy, announced the launch of its brand of fresh milk in the sultanate. The launch event was held in the presence of H E Dr Hamed Said al Aufi, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, on Sunday.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Saleh al Shanfari, CEO of Oman Food Investment Company, said the company as it grows will transform the food sector in the sultanate. “Mazoon fresh milk is now available on shelves across supermarkets and shops in different parts of Oman. The complete range of products includes laban, cheese, ice cream and juices which will be launched in the coming period.” Shanfari also said that the company has concluded agreements with hypermarkets and small shops across Oman. “We also plan to increase the number of cows at the farm. The factory has been built to accommodate new calves. It is important to plan the right capacity. “Currently, the plant produces about 25,000 litres of milk per day. We plan to increase it to 1mn litres per year.”
The foundation stone of the project was laid in October 2017. Since then, nearly all facilities have been completed, including the farm, which now houses a herd of more than 4,500 cattle, a desalination plant, sewage and biogas plant that produces gas from livestock waste, distribution centres, etc.
The integrated facility at As’Sunainah includes a state-of-the-art dairy farm with the capacity to house over 25,000 cows, a central processing plant capable of producing over a million litres of liquid milk per day, and staff accommodation to house over 400 people. The facility also consists of a waste water treatment plant and a biogas generation plant that is unique to the region.
H E Dr Rashid bin Salim al Masroori, chairman, Mazoon Dairy Company, said, “This is a historic moment in food security, and it will undoubtedly enhance the sultanate’s reputation in this vital industry. We are committed to the highest standards and best practices across all functions of the company, including the adoption of systematic plans to train and employ Omani youth in the food processing sector. We are optimistic about the national momentum of the project, which demonstrates the loyalty of the Omani community to Omani products.”
He added, “The biogas plant is part of Mazoon Dairy’s strategy to adopt environment-friendly solutions and convert waste to energy to enhance the efficiency of waste management. This is the first time ever that a dairy company in the region has adopted clean technology on such a scale, making Mazoon Dairy a forerunner in harnessing environmentally friendly solutions in the dairy sector. The biogas plant currently produces about 500kW of electricity which is used to operate equipment at the plant.”
Talking about Omanisation, Shanfari said, “As many as 122 Omanis completed the Qudarat training programme designed by the Human Resources Department of Mazoon Dairy to provide practical and theoretical training and employment opportunities in various functions.
“The majority of the 122 trainees have been placed in the sales department. The programme also offers training with external organisations associated with the company and an understanding of key functions at the farm and factory. The Qudarat programme is part of the company’s efforts to attract young Omanis and ensure that they are qualified to work in one of the most promising sectors in the sultanate.”
He added, “We will be working on a number of projects such as the Al Bashayer Meat Company and Al Namaa Poultry Company in the coming years.”