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Oman – The Common-Sense Investment Destination for Agriculture

With its place firmly secured on the world map as a regional gateway for trade and investment - and an unrivalled regional distribution network with access to more than 400 million people - Oman is fast becoming a hot topic amongst agricultural investors, realising Omani food manufacturing business ideas and increasingly competing with food manufacturing companies in the region. At the same time, across the GCC tastes are changing among consumers, who desire healthier options, and higher quality produce.

Supported by the Government of Oman, around 160 private-sector agricultural, livestock and fisheries projects - worth an estimated USD 2 billion - are underway to realise the country’s potential as a thriving regional agriculture hub. 

Key initiatives include the flagship Mazoon Dairy Company, which will support up to 25,000 Holstein Fresian cattle by 2026 – ultimately producing close to a billion liters of milk annually. Poultry is another area of strategic focus – with the new Namaa and Osool operations set to deliver 60,000 metric tons of new meat each year, alongside over 150,000 million hatching eggs – meeting demand across the GCC. Oman already possesses the Middle East’s largest bakery – serving both domestic and UAE markets. 

Oman’s cutting edge port facilities have secured the country’s position as a fisheries investment destination of choice. Rich in more than 1000 species including sardines, bluefish, horse mackerel, tuna, lobster and oysters, this high-potential market has 35 fisheries-related ventures worth USD 800 million currently in play. These new initiatives are expected to almost double production to 480,000 tonnes per year in 2020 in just under five years – creating 20,000 new jobs in the process. 

The Oman Government’s targeted investment in agritech R&D – coupled with the country’s position on the strategic axis of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf – has led to global recognition of its potential at the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development. As a result, agricultural self-sufficiency has grown and this year will see a raft of advanced food technology initiatives come online to increase production and quality of food manufacturing.

Areas of agri-focused tech-investment include desalination, where Oman is working alongside the private sector to employ ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis – with ten new plants set to be up and running by 2023. The first of these, in Barka, is already operational, producing up to 281,000 cubic meters of fresh water daily.

Others include a USD 238.9 million world class complex set up by the newly established Oman Dates Development Company, the ultra-modern Dhofar Wind Farm project and a drive towards clean energy through solar panel investment – the most recent being a commitment from Chinese company Arctech Solar to supply 125MW solar trackers, marking the first project of its kind in Oman and also the single largest tracking system in the Middle East.

Attracted by Oman’s business-friendly ownership laws, free-zones, world-class road, sea and air links and unrivalled access to all the Middle East’s markets, international investors are already voting with their feet – in 2018 Foreign Direct Investment in Oman was USD 19.6 billion.

Businesses keen to diversify from declining European markets should look no further than the Middle East – where rapid population growth combined with high spending power is creating enormous opportunities. Given Oman’s unique GCC-wide distribution network and stable political environment, the Sultanate is rapidly becoming the region’s agriculture investment destination of choice. 

Key Facts:

• Around 160 private-sector agricultural, livestock and fisheries initiatives - worth an estimated USD 2 billion - are underway to realize Oman’s potential as a thriving regional agriculture hub.

• The Mazoon Dairy Company will support up to 25,000 Holstein-Fresian cattle by 2026 – ultimately producing close to a billion litres of milk annually.

• New poultry operations are set to deliver 60,000 metric tons of new meat each year, alongside over 150,000 million hatching eggs – meeting demand across the GCC.

• A new USD 238.9 million date manufacturing complex will contribute to Oman’s drive towards self-sufficiency.

• Ten new desalination plants are set to be up and running in Oman by 2023.

• Foreign Direct Investment in Oman in 2018 is USD 19.6 billion.

• More than 35 fisheries-related ventures worth USD 800 million will double production by 2020. 
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