Oman’s Minister of Agriculture, Fuad bin Jaafar Al Sajwani, has presided over a foundation stone laying ceremony for Mazoon Dairy’s flagship dairy project at Al Sunayah. The event formally marked the official launch of the main construction work on the state of the art OMR100 million project. The minister was joined by the members of the board and the senior management of Mazoon Dairy, senior dignitaries of the Wilayat of Buraimi and the main contractor Al Adrak Trading and Contracting LLC at the event.
The milestone marks the most important step yet in the development of one of the Sultanate’s biggest-ever food manufacturing projects that is an important goal in the nation’s drive towards self-sufficiency in food production.
Guests at the ceremony were taken on a tour of the 15 sq km Al Sunayah site that will soon 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, the Mazoon Dairy project will have wide ranging positive impact in helping enhance the health of the nation, create hundreds of jobs for Omanis and be a stimulus for economic growth in the Buraimi area.
Commenting at the event, 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 per cent of these skilled jobs occupied by Omanis.
Dr. Arjun Subramanian, General Manager Projects at Mazoon Dairy Company said: “The Foundation Stone ceremony has also given us the opportunity to show our stakeholders at a national and local level the progress already made in developing the project.
“By hosting so many dignitaries on site we have been able to demonstrate the size and scale of this outstanding project that will help to set a new benchmark in the production and export of high quality dairy and juice products.”
The foundation stone event comes just a few weeks after Al Adrak Trading and Contracting LLC was announced as the main contractor for construction work with the award of a RO 27.9 million contract.
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 per cent from the present 70 per cent and Mazoon Dairy will also be exporting its high quality dairy products to regional GCC markets.
The Mazoon Dairy product range will cover a diverse mix of dairy and juice products, including Milk, Yoghurt, Laban, Cheese, Ice cream and Juices. The company plans to make its full product range available from the launch – a unique achievement for a large-scale project of this kind in the Gulf region.