The government of Oman is planning to set up a dairy firm with an investment of around OMR100m ($258.8m) to achieve self-sufficiency in dairy production and food security.

Being promoted by state-owned Oman Food Investment Holding (OFIC), the proposed project will have active equity participation from private sectors, reports Times of Oman.

OFIC will own 20% stake in the dairy firm, while the remaining 80% stake will be owned by investment funds including pension funds and private investors, according to the news agency.

Commenting on the project, OFIC Follow-up and Studies chief Salim bin Saif Al Abdali was quoted by Times of Oman as saying: "We need to improve our self-sufficiency and food security of Oman in main food items like dairy, poultry and red meat. This is the first among several projects that are planned (by the company).

"Our plan is to raise domestic production of dairy products to 70 per cent of total demand by 2020.

"We are going to start with 4,000 milking cows, but it will be increased to 25,000 cows by 2020."

The dairy firm will produce fresh milk, as well as fresh juice, mineral water, laban and yogurt.

Currently, the nation’s dairy demand accounts to around 162 million liters, of which around 26% is being catered by local companies and the remaining 74% by imports, mainly from other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, OFIC claims.