The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) is aiming to increase the fisheries sector's contribution to the GDP five fold, taking it to RO1.3bn in 2023 from RO225mn in 2016. To achieve this target, the ministry is expecting to raise fish production to 1.4mn tonnes in 2023 from 280,000 tonnes in 2016.
The projections were presented by H E Dr Hamad bin Said al Oufi, Undersecretary in MoAF, at a fisheries and aquaculture workshop held in Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) on Tuesday.
H E Oufi said that according to the World Bank, Oman’s fishing industry is only a few steps away from reaching a competitive industry status of global scale. He added that the ministry is also working to streamline processes involved in setting up fisheries-related businesses in Oman. “Businesses in the fisheries sector face challenges such as slow procedures and lengthy time-consuming steps to obtain land for aquaculture/fish farming. We are working to facilitate and simplify the procedures,” he said.
The ministry is working on preparing customised programmes for traditional fishermen to ensure their continuation in the fishing profession. Outlining the outcome of Tanfeedh's Fisheries Labs, H E Oufi informed that around 8,600 new jobs are expected to be created by 2023, as well as generation of 80 per cent of investments from the private sector. H E Renaud Salins, the French Ambassador to Oman, who also addressed the opening ceremony of the workshop, said, “The fisheries sector is one of the top priorities of the economic diversification strategy of the sultanate. We are ready to transfer the French experience in fisheries of using latest technology. We want to create more bilateral investment opportunities in fisheries between Omani and French companies.” In his welcome speech, Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Chairman of OCCI, said the objective of the workshop was to raise awareness and exchange information and knowledge about fish farming projects, fisheries development, and training of fishermen in adopting modern methods. “The presence of the French side, which has advanced experience in the fisheries sector, will be a great addition to the workshop,” he said.
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