The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is inviting private investors to support the establishment of a 100,000-tree coconut tree plantation in Salalah, integrated with a value-adding manufacturing facility that will kickstart the growth of a coconut-based processing industry in the Sultanate.
The so-called ‘Model Farm for Coconut Trees and Product Manufacturing’ is proposed to come up on 1,150 acres of land allocated to the Ministry in Ayn Razat in Salalah. Plans drawn up by the Ministry envisage the cultivation of 50,000 trees in the first phase, followed by a similar number in the second phase.
Besides being the single largest coconut farm in the Sultanate, the plantation will also add to Salalah’s verdant appeal and tourist potential.
In conjunction with the development of the coconut farm, the Ministry is also proposing the establishment of a manufacturing complex that will process the fruit to manufacture a wide array of products for domestic consumption as well as overseas export.
It includes fresh coconuts, packaged coconut water, coconut milk, coconut oil, juices, grated and desiccated coconut products, and a wide range of coconut-based sweets. The Ministry also sees the potential for investments in a slew of products processed from the tree branches, fronds and trunk, notably organic fertiliser.
Outlining the economic benefits associated with a coconut palm based farm project, the Ministry said: “Coconut trees are considered a national wealth and thrive in Dhofar Governorate due to the favourable climate and environment conditions there. The fruits of these trees are associated with economic, nutritional and health benefits which must be suitably harnessed through the establishment of a value-adding project. The investment project envisions model plantations based on the cultivation of suitable coconut varieties, using modern irrigation systems and sound horticultural practices.”
Suitably integrated with processing units, these modern farms can support value addition activities while the products are marketed locally and internationally to maximize returns, it stated.
Importantly, the project aligns with the government’s drive to diversify the national economy, broaden Oman’s agriculture base, support the cultivation of nontraditional trees, boost exports, and create job opportunities for Omani youth, the Ministry added.
Fazah Fort: Situated in the town of Liwa, Wilayat Liwa, Al Batinah Region, Fazah Fort dates back to many centuries and played