Which were the main highlights for 2019, and what are your growth strategies?
YAQOOB AL RUQAISHI A'Namaa Poultry started construction in late 2018, and now we have completed around 95% of our hatchery facilities, which are located at Dhank roundabout on the main road between Ibri and Al Buraimi. The project is some 350km away from Muscat. 40% of our farming facilities was completed in 2019. While we will officially start production in 1Q2021, 2020 will be our commissioning year and among our milestones. Commissioning will be completed by the end of the year. We first seek to accomplish construction goals and ethen tackle production ones. We have also opted for gradual growth, aiming at annual production of 16,000 tons, rising to 30,000 tons, and eventually 60,000 tons. We expect to achieve our production goals by 2023, as we have identified that the Omani consumes 43-45kg of white meat per capita per year.
HADI AL LAWATI The Breeder Project is the backbone of the poultry (broiler or layer) projects. The hatching eggs produced in the breeder project is the starting point of the poultry projects. The broiler industry in Oman and other GCC countries still rely heavily on imported hatching eggs to run. Any disturbance due to natural disasters or other reasons can severely impact the broiler industry of this region, which will not only affect the performance of the projects, but also endanger the food security of the region. Moreover, the increased demand for broiler meat requires the expansion of existing projects as well as new poultry projects, which increases the demand for hatching eggs as well. Osool Poultry's project caters to the demand for broiler hatching eggs in Oman as well as neighboring countries. The project is considered one of the biggest in the Middle East. Its capacity is planned at 150 million hatching eggs per annum, and the total cost of the project has been estimated at OMR61.5 million. The project is 65-75% completed, and we plan our egg production to start in the beginning of 2021.
What operational and financial benefits are you experiencing from a fully integrated poultry production and farm management system?
YAR Once we have fully integrated systems, we are primed for success. This system reduces our cost of production. We plan to produce 200,000 broiler per day, but eventually economies of scale will kick in. The more technology you effectively employ, the greater the benefit. Today, IoT is the hot topic and reduces the number of workers per project. Moreover, a robotic arm can store a product and even manage poultry. Technology also has the potential to raise the hygiene level of livestock in a win-win scenario. Accordingly, we have implemented a system to monitor our processes. Comprehensive tracking lets us identify and deal with problems swiftly.
Can you tell us more about your contribution to the overall achievement of Oman's food security strategy?
HAL We have three plots, each with two rearing farms and four production farms, and each farm has its own workers and supervisors. We do not allow the workers or supervisors to move between farms. Some 10-15 people will be responsible for a farm, and they will have their own facilities with whatever they need there. This reduces the risk of the spread of diseases. Each plot has its own fencing and watchman at every entrance. Since we are outside of Muscat, our target is to hire Omanis. If we can find Omanis working there, that would be our priority; otherwise, we will go for an alternative to hire expatriates. We have started hiring and have seven Omanis and two expatriates at the moment. We will see what happens next.