Muscat: The fisheries electronic marketing project, funded to the tune of OMR184,120 by the Agriculture and Fisheries Development Fund, which started operations, is a remarkable success story of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources.
Khalid bin Mohammed Al Balushi, Director of the Project and Manager of the Central Fish Market (Wholesale), said that the project adds to the success stories of the ministry in setting up infrastructure for fish markets and unloading areas and developing marketing mechanisms and regulations in coordination with the departments concerned, as well as installing modern electronic marketing systems for the central market.
He said that the first phase has been completed with success, thanks to the cooperation of all parties in the chain of fish marketing.
Al Balushi added that the project is in line with the forthcoming launch of Oman Vision 2040 and the goals set for upgrading the fisheries sector, which is one of the target segments anticipated to contribute considerably to the Gross Domestic Product. It envisions the introduction of new technologies for developing revenues and financial sustainability, besides enhancing the concept of governance and streamlining procedures.
The second phase of the project began to be implemented at fish markets in governorates, said Al Balushi, noting that such a project will be a significant step forward in regulating the rotation of fishery products in local markets and providing direct and indirect jobs, he added.
Al Balushi pointed out that certain marketplaces have been selected as venues for sale by auctioning in Sohar, Quriyat, Seeb and Masirah. Work is underway to expand this business concept in light of needs, he said, adding that, accordingly, electronic trading systems might be installed and manpower trained.
Fish market observers have been provided with hand-held smart devices to register unloaded fisheries products data on a daily basis and send them to the main database of the ministry, he said.
Al Balushi explained that, besides increasing sales, the project will enhance transparency, revenues and employment of Omanis. All fish markets will eventually be connected through a single database that will facilitate product updates, he added.