Behar, an integrated electronic platform that holds wholesale auctions and retail sale of fish, has succeeded in its first international sale of fish to Italy.
The COVID-19 pandemic spawned a multitude of online platforms and hastened the growth of e-commerce in the sultanate.
Behar was one of the first e-platforms to be selected by Oman Technology Fund (OTF), a specialised government-backed fund that invests in IT and innovative startups, for funding support from an endowment of RO1mn earmarked for Omani entrepreneurial initiatives.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, an official at Behar, said, “The platform succeeded in implementing the first electronic auction to sell 6.7 tonnes of fish to Italy. Its consignment was shipped in cooperation with the Omani Fisheries Company.”
On May 20, the auction was conducted smoothly, and the sale process and administrative and financial procedures were completed with full transparency, he stated.
The official explained, “The platform allows international traders to buy Omani fish online with multiple options such as choosing a means of transportation (land, air or sea) to their country. It also allows purchase through the platform and selection of value-added services like packaging, cutting and freezing. This also opens up real opportunities for Omani youth to work in the fishery sector.”
The platform was established on March 28, 2020, he said, adding that over 170 fishing firms and 5,160 merchants engaged in fishing have registered with it.
Of the future, he said, “The coming period will witness a number of electronic auctions to sell fish outside the sultanate.”
According to him, the central wholesale market for fish, in cooperation with partners in the public and private sector, works to develop the electronic sales system inside and outside the sultanate in line with the conditions of the spread of the coronavirus, to reduce congestion and mixing, and to emphasise the principle of physical distancing in light of the spread of the virus.