Initiative to enhance food security

MUSCAT: Dr Rashid bin Salim al Masrouri, Chairman of Oman Food Investment Holding (OFIH), said that Al Namma poultry project has a strategic importance for the national food security and for enhancing the self-sufficiency levels of one of the basic foods.
He added that the poultry project system in the Sultanate will contribute to meeting the needs of the Omani citizens of white meat and their products. It also diversifies the sources of the Omani food basket and its effective contribution to developing the broiler industry in the Sultanate. It also enhances the Sultanate’s efforts to achieve self-sufficiency of white meat in the coming years through a high quality product that meets international standards.
He pointed out that the Asool poultry project system (under in corporation), is one of the leading projects in the production of fertilised eggs not only in the Sultanate but in the GCC states as well.
He affirmed that the project is very important in this stage as it will play a role in meeting the needs of Al Namma, other companies and poultry farms of fertilised eggs, which is currently imported from other countries.
He pointed out that reliance on imports has a very high risk in ensuring sustainability of supplies, especially with the spread of diseases at many fertilised egg producing countries. Such circumstances may require ban on imports by the relevant authorities in the Sultanate.
Saleh bin Mohammed al Shanfari, Chairman of the Founding Committee for Asool for broiler breeders, said that the establishment of the company in the Sultanate is a positive indication about the investment climate and competitive edges in the Sultanate. He stressed the importance of attracting more investments to the Sultanate, especially in the strategic sectors that promote production and ensure high efficiency and quality of operation for national manpower.
He added that OFIH will support the efforts made to enhance the food security system in the Sultanate either by contributing to capital or providing advice during the incorporation stage.
Similarly, Nasser bin Zahir al Maawali, Chairman of Asool Poultry, said that the success of the project is related to the support provided a number of public organisations that grant the different permits and licenses to expedite implementation.
He pointed out that the list of promotors to the RO 60 million project include Al Namma Poultry,  Gulf Investment Incorporation; one of the investment vehicles of the GCC states of which the Sultanate is a member, the Arab Organization for Investment and Agriculture Development; one of the investment vehicles of the Arab countries at which the Sultanate is a member, Atayb Ifco poultry; a subsidiary of Oman Flour Mills SAOG, Al Saffa Foods SAOG, and other investors from inside and outside the Sultanate.
On his part, Yaaqub bin Mansour al Raqishi, GM of the company, said that Al Namma Poultry is one of the food security initiative that is supported by all relevant public organisations. The company contributed to Asool project to ensure meeting the Sultanate’s need of fertilised eggs which are estimated at 70 million eggs per annum. He added that having such project in the Sultanate will reduce the bio risk association with importing fertilised eggs. — ONA