Credit By: Oman Observer
In a collaboration between the Zubair Enterprises Development Centre (Zubair EDC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Omani Coastal Women Development Programme recently celebrated its completion. The ceremony was held under the auspices of His Excellency Dr. Saud bin Hamoud Al Habsi, Oman’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Water Resources. It featured a plethora of dignitaries and executives.
About the Programme
Launched in 2021, the program was designed to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) led by women in the fisheries sector. Spearheaded by engineers Farha Al Kindi and Muzna Al Hatmy, the project operates out of the Wilayat of Mussanah and boasts multiple sales outlets across Oman. One of the milestones reached during the project’s conclusion was the launch of ‘Meena’ products, marking a significant rebranding that enhances the presentation and marketability of the fisheries products.
Skill and Capacity Building
The Omani Coastal Women Development Programme has been a boon for many women, offering them unparalleled opportunities to refine their skills and expand their organizational and technical capabilities. In doing so, it has opened up avenues for greater resource accessibility, technological integration, and economic participation.
The program is especially noteworthy given that small-scale fisheries contribute to over 90% of Oman’s coastal fish production. The skills and resources that these women have acquired will bring transformative changes to this crucial sector.
Ali Shaker’s Insights
Ali Shaker, who heads the Business Development and Partnerships Sector at Zubair EDC, praised the program’s conclusion as a milestone in empowering coastal women. He noted that this initiative aligns well with Zubair EDC’s broader strategy to bolster small and micro-enterprises, contributing to sustainable development and social progress.
Hasna Mohammed Al Harthy on the Role of Women
Hasna Mohammed Al Harthy, the Assistant Representative of FAO in Oman, highlighted the indispensable role that Omani coastal women play in the fisheries sector. These women are particularly involved in post-harvest activities, which are a cornerstone of their livelihood.
Products and Participants
The program has led to the creation of a range of high-quality fish products, including dried and salted fish, ready-to-eat meals, fish-based snacks, and sauces. These products have been developed by women’s associations in various Omani locales, further fostering community bonds and economic development.
The ceremony concluded with presentations and workshops conducted by FAO and Zubair EDC. These workshops aim to address challenges faced during the program and to set the groundwork for the long-term objectives for women in the coastal communities.
Established in 2014, Zubair EDC continues to underscore the pivotal role of enterprise development in diversifying Oman’s economy. By supporting SMEs and nurturing entrepreneurial talent, it fosters a conducive environment for sustainable business growth. The successful completion of the Omani Coastal Women Development Programme stands as a testament to the power of collaborative efforts in achieving sustainable development and female empowerment in traditionally male-dominated sectors.
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