The major projects promoted by Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC) in dairy, red meat, poultry, fisheries and other areas are set to improve the sultanate’s food security by expanding the domestic food production capacities.
OFIC, which is affiliated to the Oman Investment Authority, was mandated to promote Oman’s food security through partnerships with government agencies, private companies and investors. The company aims to boost the country’s food security by investing in domestic and international food projects in partnership with food companies, investors and other stakeholders.
OFIC has promoted a number of key projects in dairy, red meat and poultry sectors to increase the domestic production and improve the sultanate’s self-sufficiency in these products. Mazoon Dairy Company, the flagship dairy project for Oman promoted by OFIC, started commercial operations in late 2019.
“Mazoon Dairy, which started commercial operations 15 months ago, has gained lots of trust in the market as one of the leading brand in the dairy sector. We have already achieved a good market share, which is more than what we had initially planned for this project,” Eng Saleh al Shanfari, CEO of OFIC said in an interview.
He said the demand for Mazoon Dairy’s products has been very good in the local market and the company is currently overselling what it can produce. “We are now expanding the reach of Mazoon Dairy’s products in the market within Oman and outside Oman.”
Shanfari said that OFIC aims to lead strategic investments in the food sector by investing in various food projects with strategic partners to contribute in achieving food sufficiency and security.
Recently OFIC’s subsidiary Al Bashayer Meat Company, the second major project promoted by OFIC, launched its commercial operations and distribution of products in the local market. Al Bashayer Meat Company is considered as one of the largest companies specialising in red meat production in the region in terms of area and capacity, which reaches 1.3mn heads of livestock.
“Our objective is to make Oman self-sufficient in major commodities that are feasible to be produced in the country. We believe that the projects that we have already launched and our future projects would position Oman higher in the food security index,” Shanfari said.
In the poultry sector, OFIC has promoted A’Namaa Poultry Company which is setting up a state-of-the-art poultry project that will produce 60,000 tonnes of white meat in the next five years. The project, combined with existing producers, will drive the self-sufficiency of Oman in the poultry sector.
Shanfari said that A’Namaa Poultry Company is expected to start commercial operations by mid-2021 and the company’s products will be available in the market by the end of this year.
He emphasised that their food security strategy is not only limited to increase of food production, but also includes ensuring logistics, storage, and the management of reserves and supply chains. “We want to ensure that the food is reaching easily in every corner of the country. That is how we see food security. It is also about storage, management, accessibility and quality and prices of products.”
OFIC has also identified a number of new projects to be developed in partnership with food companies and other stakeholders.