Oman set to be major egg production hub in Gulf

A string of mega investments in table and hatching egg projects is set to position Oman as a player in egg production in the region, while also reinforcing the nation’s food security objectives and sustaining the requirements of its burgeoning poultry industry.

In various stages of development are three major projects that, when fully operational over the next several years, will contribute to an exponential leap in Oman’s combined egg production.

The biggest of these ventures are planned in Buraimi Governorate, which is emerging into a key food production hub in the Sultanate.  Arabian Food Production, set up by a consortium of Omani, regional and international investors, is preparing to establish one of the Gulf region’s biggest farms for the production of table eggs. The output from the proposed poultry farm, planned at Al Sunaina with an investment of around $100 million, is projected at about 200 million eggs per year.

A key player in the venture is Modern Poultry Farms (MPF), which is well-known in the Sultanate for its popular brand of Dana Eggs. MPF already operates the Sultanate’s biggest egg farm, located in Wadi al Maawil near Barka, with an annual capacity of over 125 million eggs.

Partnering with MPF in the establishment of Arabian Food Production are: IFFCO Group, an integrated multi-foods chain based in the UAE; Oman Flour Mills, a partly Omani government-owned enterprise with strategic investments in milling capacity and industrial bakery style food production; Mizuho Gulf Capital Partners, a Dubai based investment management company; and ISE Foods, one of Japan’s largest egg companies.

With strong facilitation support extended by the government’s Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU), Arabian Food Production has already secured key approvals necessary to progress the project.  ISFU, set up under the auspices of the Diwan of Royal Court, has been tasked with fast-tracking approvals for projects and initiatives designed to accelerate Oman’s economic diversification.

Equally promising is a poultry farm currently in an advanced stage of construction at Ghaftain in the Wilayat of Haima in central Oman.  Osool Poultry, backed by mainly local investors, is setting up a modern facility with a capacity to produce annually around 150 million hatching eggs – a key requisite for the country’s broiler industry.

“To help overcome issues of supply disruption and inconsistencies in demand, Osool Poultry project is aimed at facilitating a smooth supply of hatching eggs to the poultry industry at sustainable prices,” said ISFU in its 2019 Annual Report documenting a substantial portfolio of projects and initiatives that it has helped fast-track in their implementation.

“Based in Haima, the breeder project will primarily supply its products within Oman to drive 80 – 85 per cent self-sufficiency, while creating jobs for Omanis in the farming sector. In addition, it will supply a percentage of production to the surrounding GCC countries from the forecast annual production of 150 million hatching eggs,” the Unit stated.

In Dhahirah Governorate, government-backed A’Namaa Poultry also includes sizable hatching egg production capacity as part of its mega poultry project presently under construction at Al Safah in the Wilayat of Ibri.  In addition to a planned output of 60,000 tonnes of white meat per annum, the project will also hatch 100 million eggs per year to meet its in-house needs, as well as the needs of small poultry farmers in the governorate.