BIG BOOST: $40 million-plant to produce 360 million eggs a year
By Zainab Al Nasseri — MUSCAT: Dec. 20: The largest table-egg farm in the Sultanate will come up in Ibri, Governorate of Al Dhahirah. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Tuesday for setting up the farm in two phases at a total cost of $40 million. It is expected to produce 360 million eggs every year. The pact was signed between officials from Oman Flour Mills Company (OFM), Gulf Japan Food Fund (GJFF), IFFCO Group and Japan’s Ise Foods. The decision to establish the farm is in response to a high demand for protein-rich eggs in the GCC.
The signing ceremony was held at the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) premises. It was presided over by Dr Rashid bin Salim al Masroori, CEO of Public Authority for Stores and Food Reserve (PASFR). Mitsugu Saito, Japanese Ambassador to Oman, was also present. The MoU entails acquisition of the country’s largest egg producer and modern poultry farms, and enhancing egg production capacity through state-of-the-art Japanese technology. Muneer al Munneri, Manager, Local Initiatives, SGRF, said the fund believes in leveraging a world-wide network not only to find international investment opportunities, but also attract foreign direct investments and form productive and attractive partnerships among local, regional and international funds.
He said the establishment of GJFF was part of the State Fund’s agenda to encourage public-private partnership in Oman. The patron of the ceremony said: “This project will help achieve a high level of self-sufficiency in production of table eggs. The investment combines partnership between Oman, GCC Fund and Japanese expertise. We are confident the project will support the local economy as it will provide job opportunities for the nationals.”
As part of food security plan, Al Masroori mentioned a project in the dairy sector, for which an agreement will be signed next week for commencing construction.
A project has been planned in the red meat sector, which will come up in Thamrait, besides another dairy project in Dhofar. Shaikh Saleh al Mawali, Chairman of OFM, said: “The project aims to reduce GCC’s dependence on eggs imports, while enhancing the quality of locally produced eggs using the best in-class processes and technology from Japan. OFM is proud to be associated with the initiative. We import 45 per cent of eggs.
Hitoshi Sugawara, an official at GJFF, said: “IFFCO and OFM are market leaders in food business in the UAE and Oman. We are delighted to partner with them.”
Kenneth D Costa, Managing Director Agri Foods Business, IFFCO Group, said: “With a target capacity to produce up to 360 million eggs a year, the new facility will be one of the largest and most efficient in the GCC.