OMAN-Sohar Flour Mills, a subsidiary of Oman Flour Mills, has inaugurated a new US$52 million grain storage facility to boost the country’s strategic grain reserve capacity.
The facility with a capacity of 160,000 MT is in the Sohar Industrial Port, an essential deep-sea port lying at the center of global trade routes between Europe and Asia.
The inauguration ceremony for the storage project was held under the patronage of Qais bin Mohammed Al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP).
Established in 2017, Sohar Flour Mills is the outcome of a partnership between Atyab Investment, wholly owned by Oman Flour Mills Company (OFMC), and Essa Al Ghurair Investment.
The company’s latest project is considered one of the strategic national projects that aim to bolster Oman’s grain reserve capacity to ensure long-term availability of sufficient quantities to cover local consumption.
“The Grain silos constitute a qualitative addition to the food security system in the sultanate,” said Al Yousef adding that the project will contribute to addressing the impacts of international economic instabilities.
The Commerce and Industry minister further pointed out that the project will also help in the storage of local grains following the increasing food grain production.
On his part, Haitham Al Sa’adi, Chairman of Sohar Flour Mills said that the grain storage silos were part Oman Flour Mills’ commitment to contribute to strengthening strategic reserves in the country.
“It also aims to support Oman in exporting some types of flour and encourage the national industry in the production of animal feed. It will also create job opportunities for citizens,” Al Sa’adi said.
Ibrahim Amri, COO of Oman Flour Mills Company revealed that 85 percent of the silos have already been leased adding that the project’s designed allowed for future expansion should need arise.
The Sohar project comes at a time when Oman is increasing food grain production to meet growing local demand and offset imports.
The country produced 2,649 tonnes of wheat in 2020-21, a 19.6 percent increase compared to 2019-20, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR).