Muscat: Oman’s fisheries sector is expected to contribute more than OMR750 million to the GDP by 2023, according to officials involved in Fisheries Labs under the Tanfeedh diversification initiative.
The labs, which concluded last Thursday, were conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with the Tanfeedh Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit.
Dr. Hamad bin Said Al Oufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for Fisheries said that the fisheries sector has been under the patronage of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to be one of the promising sectors in enhancing the economic diversification.
That is due to its promising assets as a renewable resource and its ability to increase its contribution to food security and provide employment for citizens, as well as to double its contribution to GDP.
Dr. Al Oufi indicated that the fisheries labs included three main activities namely processing and export, aquaculture and catch. The workshops intensified during the six weeks to identify challenges, find appropriate solutions and identify priorities for initiatives and projects, as well as setting time and cost of implementation.
He also added that the labs concluded with more than 90 initiatives and projects, covering the three activities that were discussed in the labs. The private sector expressed its willingness to finance these initiatives and projects by 93 per cent estimated at about OMR1 billion, keeping the government at 7 per cent which will be featured in facilitating and providing infrastructure.
He further said that the new initiatives and projects are expected to contribute to the GDP OMR556 million, raising the contribution of the fisheries sector by more than three times the contribution in 2016, and to reach OMR781 million by 2023. And it will hopefully provide around 8,000 job opportunities by 2023, that is after the completion of all projects and initiatives set in the labs.
The total fish production in 2016 was more than 280,000 tonnes, an increase of 76 per cent compared to 2011, with a total value of OMR225 million, an increase of 66 per cent compared to 2011. Despite these high results, it is aspired to increase the fisheries contribution to the GDP through the implementation of the lab’s initiatives and projects. It is also aspired to increase the sector’s contribution to the economic diversification programme through increased production and enhanced partnership with the private sector.