Fisheries labs kick off as Oman's Ministry of Agriculture seeks to boost diversification

Energy Sunday 17/September/2017 21:30 PM
By: Times News Service
Fisheries labs kick off as Oman's Ministry of Agriculture seeks to boost diversification

Muscat: As part of the Sultanate’s economic diversification plan, the fisheries sector labs, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with the Implementation and Follow up Unit, has kicked off.
The opening ceremony of the labs which will run until October 26th 2017 was sponsored by Dr. Ali bin Masud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry.
While addressing the gathering, the Minister of Commerce and Industry said: “The fisheries sector is one of the key five prioritised sectors in the current five-year plan. The labs are continuation of the similar labs for the industry and tourism sector. He pointed out that fisheries lab will be followed by another lab on mineral wealth.
The fisheries labs are part of an ambitious plan that is based on a strategy approved by the government. This strategy takes into consideration the stages of fishing, aquaculture, fish processing and international marketing. The labs will highlight the fish quantities that can be benefited from, the locations for aquaculture and the trends of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with relation to developing the capacity of the existing ports, he added in a statement to reporters.
“The Supreme Council for Planning has recently approved private investment in Diba Port. There are also two ports under consideration. With these three ports, the Sultanate will have an integrated system comprising 24 ports,” he further said.
On his part, Dr. Hamad bin Said Al Oufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for Fisheries delivered a speech where he launched the fisheries lab.
He pointed out that the Ministry has developed a roadmap for the development of fisheries sector and ensure its sustainability up to 2040. To this end, a number of policies, plans, programmes and measures have been proposed to develop performance and benefit from the available resources in enhancing the food security system and contribute to economic diversification in the Sultanate. The strategy has been developed in coordination between the national team and the World Bank.
During the labs, participants will discuss issues related to the fisheries sector and means of overcoming challenges. They will also develop a clear cut plan with a specific timetable for implementation. The implementation will be followed up according to accurate performance indicators. The participants will focus on three main activities for fisheries sector namely aquaculture and fishing (commercial and traditional, processing and finally export. A number of experts from the relevant public and private sector organisations take part in the labs.
The labs will seek to come out with a number of initiatives and proposals that increase the contribution of fisheries to GDP in the coming year, increase the value of fish products and generate job opportunities for Omanis.
It should be noted that the total fish production has seen significant increase during the period from 2011 to 2016. The total fish production during the period increased to more than 1 million tons worth about OMR975 million.