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RO1.3bn food security projects announced in Oman

2 Oct 2021 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – As part of its efforts to support the food security sector and create job opportunities, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources has announced 128 projects and initiatives worth RO1.3bn. The projects will be implemented during the next five years.

The projects were announced at the conclusion of the Food Security Laboratory, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources on Thursday.

Government and private representatives, academics and experts in the food security sector took part in the four-week lab.

“The laboratory came within the framework of the ‘Invest in Oman’ programme. It aimed to attract private investments and support Omani exports in foreign markets. The lab is among the national programmes within Oman Vision 2040,” said an official at the ministry.

He explained that the Food Security Laboratory identified 128 initiatives and projects, including 37 in the agriculture sector, 29 in livestock, 28 in fisheries, eight in the water resources sector and 26 other initiatives, with an investment value of RO1.3bn. “The projects will contribute to achieving self-sufficiency and food security in the sultanate.”

H E Dr Saud Hamoud al Habsi, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources, said that the lab resulted in a number of initiatives and agreements that will bolster investment and provide a suitable environment in the field of food security.

The official added that the Food Security Laboratory also aimed to design a strategic investment programme for food security in the sultanate, in partnership with relevant governmental and private institutions, businessmen and investors. “The lab focused on the main activities related to agricultural, fisheries and livestock wealth, water resources, food safety and quality through three themes covering projects and investment opportunities, project enablers and incentives package,” the official said.

The laboratory also approved the initiative of the National Water Strategy, which will transform the sector and attract investment in the next phase, achieve water security and sustain water resources.
The laboratory also approved an initiative to promote exports and imports through Omani ports and a special initiative to enable national cadres to work in the sector.

Additionally, the Food Innovation Complex project was approved, which will work to address the current gap in the innovation system in the food sector and transform it into products targeting local and foreign markets, enhance local added value and open up wide scope for businesses and job opportunities, the official said.

During the event, a number of agreements were signed, including an agreement to plant coconut trees in Dhofar, a contract for a commercial banana cultivation project in the wilayat of Mussanah in South Batinah, and lease pomegranate and olive farms in Jebel Akhdar.

Some other agreements signed included developing the Wadi Dayqah Dam, a usufruct contract for land allocation for the establishment of a commercial fish farming project, an agreement to establish and manage a unit for inspection of trucks exporting and importing agricultural, animal and food products in Dhofar, and an investment contract for the establishment of a fish collection centre in Khuwema area in the wilayat of Jaalan Bani Bu Ali in South Sharqiyah governorate.

“The Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-Up Unit has provided support and assistance in organising the lab, developing performance indicators for its outputs and following up their implementation according to the approved follow-up criteria. It will continue to provide support and assistance to the ministry to ensure that the laboratory’s objectives are achieved,” the official added.

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