Oman’s Minister of Agriculture, Fuad bin Jaafar Al Sajwani, has presided over a ceremony to mark the launch of construction on a OR100 million ($260 million) dairy project.
The minister oversaw the placing of the foundation stone at Mazoon Dairy’s flagship dairy project at Al Sunayah, which is being built by Al Adrak Trading and Contracting.
The development is one of the sultanate’s biggest food manufacturing projects and is an important part of Oman’s drive towards food security.
The 15 sq km Al Sunayah site that will see the construction of the main dairy farm, feeding centre, milking parlours, staff accommodation, management office building and an expansive road network.
The groundbreaking dairy project is backed by the Oman Food Investment Company, government pension and investment funds.
Once completed in 2018, it will create hundreds of jobs for Omanis and be a stimulus for economic growth in the Buraimi area, a statement said.
Al Sajwani said: “This is an eagerly anticipated milestone event for the food sector in Oman and is a major part of our continuing drive towards enhanced food security and growing self-sufficiency in domestic production.
“When it opens, Mazoon Dairy will help the sultanate to become a truly world-class centre of excellence for the dairy manufacturing industry that reflects the Pride of Oman.”
Starting from an initial workforce of 400 it is anticipated that within a decade Mazoon Dairy will employ 2,300 staff – with an estimated 70 percent of these skilled jobs occupied by Omanis.
Initially the facility will house 4,000 Holstein-Friesian cows and grow to 25,000 by 2026 and produce 200 million litres of milk. By then it is planned that dairy imports to Oman would fall to nearly 10 percent from the present 70 percent.
The Mazoon Dairy product range will cover milk, yoghurt, laban, cheese, ice cream and juices.
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