Conrad Prabhu –
MUSCAT, OCT 16 –
Oman’s largest integrated dairy farm project currently under development at Al Sunainah in Al Buraimi Governorate has the potential to contribute as much as RO 800 million to the local and national economy over the next ten years, according to projections by Tanfeedh — The National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification.
Mazoon Dairy Company, a subsidiary of Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIHC), the government’s food investment arm, is overseeing the establishment of the landmark project with an investment of around RO 100 million.
Construction work on the ambitious venture — part of a slew of investments backed by the Omani government to help advance the nation’s food security objectives — will officially kick off tomorrow, October 18, with a foundation-stone laying ceremony planned at the project site. In attendance will be a number of government dignitaries, including Dr Fuad Jaffar al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as the Governor of Buraimi and local walis.
The event will pave the way for the formal commencement of the main construction package awarded to local contractor, Al Adrak Trading and Contracting LLC, at a cost of RO 27.9 million. It includes the construction of the Main Dairy Farm, Feeding Centre, Milking Parlours, Staff Accommodation, Management office Building, Utilities and connecting road network.
According to studies conducted by Tanfeedh, the Buraimi dairy project will not only help the Sultanate dramatically reduce its dependency on dairy imports, but crucially, it will also have a positive impact on Oman’s Balance of Payments with regard to foodstuff imports. Cumulative revenue from the project, as well as from its knock-on effect on the wider economy, is estimated in the order of RO 800 million over the first ten years of operations.
Equally significant will be the project’s contribution to In-Country Value (ICV) generation. Besides creating training and employment opportunities for the local workforce, the project is expected to promote local sourcing of goods and services, as well as enhance local infrastructure and the business environment.
Over time, the integrated dairy farm and processing scheme has the potential to stimulate the growth of a dairy and food-based economic zone in Al Buraimi Governorate, according to Tanfeedh. Officials see the potential for the growth of local cooperatives supplying fodder for the farm. Additionally, the project is expected to spawn the growth of small and medium businesses supplying, among other things, animal feed, chemicals and veterinary medicines, packaging services, electrical and maintenance services, and distributorships.
Conrad Prabhu –