Dhofar’s poultry sector helps boost Oman’s food security

Salalah: The poultry industry in the Sultanate is considered one of the vital and important economic activities that contribute to achieving food security and providing food, including meat, eggs, and various food products.

The Sultanate seeks to pay attention to the poultry industry sector and its development by encouraging investment to achieve self-sufficiency in poultry products, reducing the food gap and imports and monitoring the quality of products on the ground. Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries indicated that the Sultanate's production of broiler chickens in 2018 was estimated at 129,000 tonnes, of which 54 per cent were locally consumed.

The Governorate of Dhofar is witnessing an economic growth in the field of poultry industry through the two companies, A'Saffa Foods, and Dhofar Poultry, which produce 29,000 tonnes annually.

Eng. Mohammed bin Suhail Al Shanfari, CEO of A'Saffa Foods Company, told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the company has increased its production capacity to face the repercussions of the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on local markets. He affirmed the company’s readiness to provide all of its products in the local markets and compensate for any shortage if it occurs in the coming period due to the global effects of the pandemic. He explained that the company produces approximately 21,000 metric tonnes of poultry meat annually.

Al-Shanfari clarified that A'Saffa Foods Company owns 5 main stores in Muscat, Salalah, Saham, Nizwa, Al-Kamil and Al-Wafi, indicating that these stores will work at their full storage capacity during the current period to ensure the flow of their products to the various governorates of the Sultanate.

The CEO of A'Saffa Foods Company pointed out that the company has the capabilities that help it to raise its production capacity in the coming period to about 80,000 birds per day, which will lead to raising the local food sufficiency ratio of poultry meat in the coming period.

Al-Shanfari added that the company has a good stock of raw materials, such as soy and corn used in the production of fodder to ensure continuity of production for the next period. He affirmed that the company applies the highest safety standards by conducting periodic medical examination for its employees along with a specialised medical team to follow up the health status of workers.

A'Saffa Foods Company, whose farms are located in Thumrait, is currently working on an expansion project in the coming period that aims to double its production capacity as its products are sold inside the Sultanate, the GCC countries, and Yemen. Salim bin Taman Al Ma’ashani, CEO of Dhofar Poultry Company, confirmed that the company is keen to meet the local demand for poultry products. He stressed the company's commitment to implement the precautionary measures and steps approved by the Supreme Committee entrusted with studying scopes for a mechanism to handle developments resulting from coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

He pointed out that the company's production in the past year 2019 reached nearly 8,000 tonnes with a total sales of OMR10 million. He added that the company's sales include fresh products from whole and sliced chicken with different weights and types, in addition to products of additional value.

Al-Ma’ashani added that Dhofar Poultry Company has a future plan to implement the company's third expansion, after which the total production volume will reach 100 million birds per year.

He added that the company owns natural farms for bird raising and has high restrictions of health conditions and biosecurity standards as it uses feeds made from natural grains and free from any animal additives to ensure the provision of high-quality products.

Dhofar Poultry Company, which was established in 1996, is located in Salalah and operates through several sectors in the operations of bird breeding and processing and marketing fresh, refrigerated and frozen poultry products. It sells its products within the Sultanate and the GCC countries.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is keen to pay attention to the poultry sector in the Sultanate by implementing many development programmes and projects, most notably animal guidance programs, in addition to providing technical and financial support to poultry project owners.