Zubair Small and Medium Enterprises Centre (SEC)

Objective(s) of the engagement

This partnership aims to strengthen the capacities of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Sultanate of Oman, in the following areas: nutrition-sensitive value-chain development; business and financial skills; and active participation and engagement of SMEs in multi-stakeholder dialogues on sustainable food systems. The cooperation also focuses on raising awareness of the CFS-RAI (CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems) and SDG alignment in the Sultanate of Oman.

Thematic area of partnership
Production, Nutrition
Near East and North Africa, Oman
Engagement Mechanisms
Capacity development, Knowledge and research, Advocacy and communication, SDG alignment
Progress to date

Pilot Project on Aflaj Agro-eco Tourism for Small Farmer’s Communities: The Case of a Falaj Balad Seet, a Potential GIAHS Candidate Site. 

Following a needs assessment of the farming community, Z-SEC has identified gaps related to feasibility, marketing, farming opportunities, social development and tourism. Based on these findings, business and marketing trainings were conducted to:

  • Improve basic understanding of business marketing concepts for the farmers.
  • Build awareness on products and nutritional value labelling.
  • Develop further business skills including negotiation, promotion and pricing.
  • Group marketing related training sessions on basic marketing tools. 

A unique identity and brand for Balad Sayt, driven by the historical story of the area, is also being developed with close collaboration with the farming community.

Capacity Development of Coastal Women Associations on Small-Scale Invertebrate Fishery 

Zubair SEC supported the women’s group to upgrade their production site. A new layout for the unit was designed with the aim of respecting the recommendation put forward by the Omani Quality Control Center for Fisheries during its site visit. The new layout was successfully approved by the FQCC (Fisheries Quality Control Center).

In parallel, Zubair SEC organized a training course on food safety with the participation of 15 women from the coastal community.

The food safety training covered a basic introduction to food safety including personal hygiene, cleaning catering premises and keeping products safe and free from contamination. This training is essential for all employees in all food-handling businesses. This training aimed at increasing the understanding of the targeted group in food and quality control measures in order to improve their products’ quality. It also increased their understanding towards the individual’s responsibility towards food safety.

By the end of the training:

  • The women’s group could understand the importance of the application of food hygiene and the benefits of good standards.
  • They were capable of identifying common food hazards and taking corrective actions accordingly.

Previous progress to date:

  • Conducted two special dialogue sessions on strengthening the role of small enterprises in the food systems in the Sultanate of Oman, in December 2020
  • Undertook a Nutrition Sensitive Value Chain Assessment (NSVCA) on constraints and opportunities along the value chain for selected safe and nutritious food commodities in Oman                          
  • Developed the capacities of farmers in entrepreneurship and management to enable them to manage their farms as successful businesses in response to market demand, while improving efficiency, profitability and income (using the Farm Business School (FBS) approach)

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