Muscat: The government is establishing a dairy company by the end of this year that will help reduce the reliance on imported dairy products.
“The farm will significantly help reduce imports, which had reached 69 per cent in 2014 to 13 per cent by 2026,” according to the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit’s (ISFU) annual report.
An integrated dairy project with a capacity to meet more than 80 per cent of Oman’s needs is being set up by Mazoon Dairy Company SAOC (MDC) in Al Sunaynah, in the Governorate of Al Buraimi.
"The company will produce around 202 million litres by 2026, and this amount will increase to 985 million litres by 2040 and will cover a diverse mix of dairy and juice products, including milk, yoghurt, laban, cheese and juices,” the report said.
The company chose Al Sunaynah due to its location, which provides a suitable environment and sufficient amounts of usable water from a sustainable source.
Initially, the facility, which will be completed in three phases, will house 4,000 Holstein-Friesian cows and the numbers will increase to 25,000 by 2026. It will also be equipped with enhanced cooling systems and automatic milking machines, and will follow the highest international standards of HACCP and ISO.
“Currently, only 30 per cent of dairy products come from the Sultanate. By 2028, Mazoon Dairy will increase this to 86 per cent,” said Dr Rashid Al Masroori, Chairman, Mazoon Dairy Company SAOC.
“The project is one of the largest in the Sultanate with a capital of OMR100 million. Nearly 20 per cent of this capital will come from Oman Food Investments Holding Company SAOC and the remainder from other investment funds,” he added.
According to the ISFU report, the establishment of this project will also create 2,300 jobs within 10 years, with 70 per cent of these skilled jobs being occupied by Omanis.
“Through knowledge transfer with the best-in-class partners from the region and around the world, we will be able to create new and innovative prospects for business. There will also be many opportunities for small and medium enterprises to provide services during the construction phase and once operations commence,” Masroori said.
In addition, the chairman said that Mazoon Dairy will help meet the health and nutrition strategies of the Sultanate and will encourage people of all ages, especially school children, to eat healthy and maintain an active lifestyle.