Muscat – As part of its efforts to increase national income and support the fisheries sector, Oman Fisheries Company (OFC) has signed the first agreement of its kind to export 300 tonnes of fish to Africa.
A statement issued by OFC said, ‘In our continuous endeavour to serve global markets and provide a variety of products, Oman Fisheries Company has signed a deal to sell more than 300 tonnes of Japanese mackerel to Western and Northern African markets.’
Suleiman al Ghannami, CEO of OFC, had recently told the media that the company plans to double its production to 56,000 tonnes in a year’s time. “In 2021, we processed around 28,000 tonnes and we are targeting double that quantity in 2022. We anticipate an exponential growth.”
The company, one of the oldest fish processing operations in Oman, plans to hit this target by expanding its international joint ventures to take advantage of technologies from companies around the world.
Ghannami added that the company has existing joint ventures with a number of fish operators, including trawlers from Spain and Turkey. “They are licensed to fish in Omani waters. They offload their catch in Oman, and we process and package it in our plants. We are targeting other new joint ventures in the near future.”
In March, OFC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gulf Japan Food Fund, enabling the latter to join as an investor in the firm by acquiring 31.4 per cent of OFC’s capital to the tune of US$10mn.
This partnership focuses on enhancing the fisheries sector, utilising the fund’s global expertise in private equity and earning the support of leading Japanese institutions and GCC sovereign investors.
The MoU is part of the endeavours of OFC to become one of the world’s leading firms in fish products, bolster investments in the fisheries sector and augment added value in accordance with international standards.
The sultanate has recorded a sharp rise in the volume of fish caught till the end of August 2021. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information, all together 542,722 tonnes of fish was landed in Oman till August 2021 as against 446,985 tonnes caught in 2020 – a 21.4 per cent increase.