Oman’s cold-chain infrastructure to be enhanced

Oman’s authorities are moving to address deficiencies in the country’s cold-chain infrastructure to help optimise value generation from the Sultanate’s increasingly lucrative agriculture, farming and fisheries sector.

Shortcomings in the cold-chain infrastructure have long contributed to wastage of perishables such as fish, vegetables, fruits and other farm produce, thereby reducing the earnings potential of Omani individuals and businesses operating in this key industry.

Now the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, supported by other stakeholders, is driving investments in new cold-chain capabilities – comprising temperature-controlled warehousing, refrigerated trucks (reefer) and other logistics infrastructure – to help maximise value creation from the sector.

“As Oman continues to increase its fresh produce exports, it is also increasing its need for a dependable cold-chain network. Therefore, this initiative serves as a platform to develop a coordinated cold-chain optimisation plan for the Sultanate,” said a report by the Implementation Support and Follow-up Unit (ISFU), a special task force with the mandate to fast-track the delivery of projects and initiatives deemed critical to accelerating Oman’s economic diversification.

“To enhance their efficiency as they eye the export market, it is imperative that the fresh produce logistics companies operating in Oman have access to refrigeration facilities and services for seafood, agricultural, meat, dairy and poultry products. This is critical in order to minimise wastage due to perishing,” it noted.

As part of the initiative, cold store facilities at a number of fish markets located around the Sultanate, notably at Masirah and Dhank, have been overhauled.  At Suhar, a developer is being tapped by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to invest in enhanced cold-chain facilities.

Separately, Asyad Group – the transport and logistics investment arm of the Omani government – is supporting the development of a 22-strong fleet of reefer trucks, each of over three-ton capacity – to facilitate cross-border exports.