Muscat: One of the largest projects on food security in Oman, Mazoon dairy, will begin production from August next year, officials said.
The OMR100 million initiative from Tanfeedh's manufacturing lab will increase Oman's dairy self sufficiency to more than 130 per cent by 2040, according to Implementation Support and Follow up Unit. The dairy will have 4,000 cows in the first year of operations and increase to 25,000 in the next 10 years.
"The project is currently in the construction and installing equipment stage, and it is expected to be finalised by August 2018," ISFU said.
The construction and installation phase includes farm building that will begin in July. It will also consist of provision for livestock, machinery and equipment and define the organisational structure.
Currently, Oman produces only 56,000 tons of milk while importing nearly 122,000 tons of milk that accounts for 69 per cent of the requirements. The initiative plans to reduce the dependency and produce excess of milk for exports by 2035. The initiative plans a gradual increase of production from 31 per cent in 2015 to 135 per cent of requirements, producing 1.1 million tons of milk by 2040.
"This is a part of the scheme of food security where Oman plans to be self sufficient. The amount we produce is the amount we consumer. There are several other projects under the Oman Food Investment Holding Co. that will ensure food security for the country in the years to come," Dawood Al Wahaibi, head of food labs at Tanfeedh said.
The project objectives include promoting Omani products, increasing export percentage and improving business environment. Regionally, the initiative plans to create jobs, support training programmes and stimulate the economy of the country by reducing dependence on oil and gas.
The project will also undergo a branding and marketing phase while creating extensive opportunities for employment and growth of small and medium enterprises in the Sultanate, and particularly encourage Omanisation. The project will provide employment for 400 people in the initial year, 924 people by 2020 and go up to 2,000 people by tenth year of operation.
The site is located in Sunayah in Al Buraimi. The land and site related activities; road and power access and consultancy services have been completed. Around 50 per cent of the funding, which used to build the dairy farm, processing plant and related marketing and logistics facilities will be by equity capital from promoters and the remaining 50 per cent will be loan from term lending institutions.