Oman Observer

BIG BOOST TO FOOD SECURITY

Muscat, July 30 – The Diwan of Royal Court on Monday marked the establishment of Oman Dates Development Company, in cooperation with Oman National Investments Development Company (Tanmia), at the Al Wahat Club. The newly-established company will be the investment arm of the ‘One Million Date Palm Trees Project’ ordered by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. The ceremony was held under the auspices of Dr Khamis bin Saif al Jabri, Head of the Implementation and Follow up Support Unit. It was attended by high-profile officials, economists and businessmen.
The new firm is a closed Omani holding company for dates owned by the Diwan of the Royal Court, represented by the project and Tanmia.
The holding company’s main responsibility is to buy dates and secondary products from the project as well as provide resources such as land, energy, water and environmental permits as well as expertise, if needed.
The world-class main complex of the company, which will cost RO 92 million, will be set up in the Wilayat of Nizwa. The complex will include central processing units, secondary products-based industries and innovative industries.
Saif bin Rashid al Shaqsi, Director-General of the project, said that His Majesty the Sultan affirmed this project will enhance food security in the Sultanate and contribute to enhancing the economic, social, cultural, and environmental resources of the Sultanate.
He said the new company represents a new dimension in how to deal with the development projects not known before.
“Transition from the concept of direct traditional benefits of agricultural activity, mainly related to food and the environment, to a completely different concept based on use of technology and innovation to obtain added value, benefiting scientific research, GDP, national human resources and investments,” he said.
He said the new firm is expected to form an umbrella under which a number of projects will be presented, drawing pathways towards knowledge-based economy, Shaikh Rashid bin Saif al Mardhof al Saadi, CEO of Tanmia, said: “The establishment of Oman Dates Development Company is the fruit of cooperation between national parties belonging to different sectors to achieve a common goal to be added to the blessed Renaissance.” “We are proud to be a founding partner of this project, which is expected to serve as an example for other projects covering vital sectors in Oman and contribute to creating employment opportunities for young Omani people and achieving well-being of the future generations,” he said.

UK-based Systemic Innovation, a company specialised in the field of innovation, has been appointed to conduct the feasibility study for the date palm tree products and wastes in cooperation with the Industrial Innovation Center.
The investment areas include producing assorted products extracted from date palm trees such as juices and syrups. In addition, other by-products include natural coal, date palm lumbar, fodder and fertilizers.
This will be carried out in cooperation with specialised investors in a bid to create high-quality products that can compete in the world markets.
The project also aims at having a modern date palm tree sector in the Sultanate to ensure optimum utilisation of the available resources.
It seeks to create a modern date processing sector that uses the most advanced technological applications in products in parallel to development of traditional crafts for secondary products and maintaining the Omani heritage in this fields.
The project aims at enhancing the economic capabilities of Omani agriculture in general and encouraging food processing.
The One Million Date Palm Trees Project aims to produce 96,000 tonnes of dates and 56,000 tonnes of date palm products such as fronds, trunks, trunk bases, offshoot and others.

Zainab al Nassri