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Food products from Omani wheat to hit market soon

May 17, 2021

Strong growth: Oman Flour Mills plans industrial food cluster, major diversification

Majority state-owned Oman Flour Mills, the biggest flour miller in the Sultanate, is weighing a series of investments and initiatives that will further expand and diversify its presence in the country’s rapidly growing processed food industry.

Notable is a plan to introduce a new range of wheat-based products utilising home-grown wheat for the first time. It follows an agreement signed by Oman Flour Mills with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources last December for the procurement of locally cultivated wheat directly from Omani farmers. The initiative opens up an attractive domestic market for locally grown wheat, more than 2,200 tonnes of which were harvested during the last season, according to Ministry figures.

“Oman Flour Mills will be supporting local growers in Oman through this initiative,” said Salah Hilal al Maawali, Chairman, Board of Directors. The new product range, based on Omani wheat, will be launched in the second quarter of this year, he stated in the company’s Board of Directors’ report for Q1 2021.

Significantly, the venture is part of a portfolio of multiple projects being evaluated across the group, the Chairman noted. “The projects focus on integration across the value chain as well diversification into new ventures,” he pointed out.

Underscoring its ambitions to grow its footprint in the food sector, Oman Flour Mills says it plans to develop a food-related industrial cluster housing various types of “mini-factories”. It is also mulling the establishment of a fish feed manufacturing facility that capitalises on available synergies offered by some of its subsidiaries. To this end, the company recently completed the acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in Oman Fisheries Company (OFC), which is partly owned by Fisheries Development Oman (FDO), a subsidiary of Oman Investment Authority.

Furthermore, the Group is planning a full-fledged foray into corn handling, followed by an expansion into wet milling of corn starch and its derivatives. Likewise, wholly-owned subsidiary Atyab Industries (AFI) is looking to install new product lines for donuts, samosa leaves and other products.

Having made major inroads into bakery products on an industrial scale, Oman Flour Mills is now exploring a further diversification into the healthy snacking and breakfast cereal market. And by the second quarter of this year, it plans to complete a study into the feasibility of setting up a premix facility.

One of the largest publicly trade food manufacturers in the country, Oman Flour Mills’ Group comprises subsidiaries and associate companies including Atyab Food Industries LLC (AFI), Atyab FoodTech LLC (AFT), Atyab Technical Services LLC (ATS), Sohar Flour Mills LLC (SFM), Oman Fisheries Company SAOG, Atyab IFFCO Poultry, Sohar Poultry Co SAOC (SPC), Osool Poultry, Arabian Food Production Company SAOC (AFPC), Modern Poultry Farms SAOC (MPF), Emirates Poultry Farms (EPF), and Gulf Poultry Farms.

The parent company, Oman Flour Mills, which is 51 per cent owned by the government through the Oman Food Investment Holding Co (OFIC), operates an 800 tons per day capacity flour mill in Muscat alongside a 1,100 tons per day capacity animal feed mill. The company also runs a substantial grain storage and ship unloading facility at Mina Sultan Qaboos.

omanobserver

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