Oman's government is prioritising the country's agriculture and fisheries sectors, according to the annual report of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).
This economic realignment is also expected to support the sultanate's construction sector.
In order to make the growth process in Oman more resilient to external price shocks, the country’s economic vision document has set a target for the agriculture sector to contribute about 3.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, with an annual growth rate of not less than 4.5%.
Agriculture and fisheries sectors registered a solid growth of 16.3% in 2016, surging from an average growth of about 6.4% in the previous five years, Times of Oman reported.
The overall plan to develop the fisheries sector, applicable from 2013 to 2020, includes massive fleet expansion, additional harbours, development of fish markets, support to fishermen, aquaculture development and additional fish processing and logistics services.
To strengthen fish production, Oman is also developing the Middle East’s biggest fishing harbour, facilities for sea food processing and packaging, facilities for storing raw materials and deep freezers for exports in the Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD).
The Duqm fishing harbour and integrated processing zone is being developed by SEZAD in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The integrated processing facility, which will have around 60 fish processing units close to the harbour, is in the design stage now.
Also, Oman is in the process of developing eight more fishing harbours and ports of varying sizes, with a sizable investment as part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen the fisheries sector.
By 2020, as many as 30 fishing harbours or ports are expected to be operational, against 20 such ports now.