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Banat Oman

PDO’s social enterprise Banat Oman – a vocational training initiative to imbue low-income women with the skills they need for sustainable employment – has blossomed, training over 300 women to date.

The Company has invested RO 150,000 to initiate the project, in partnership with the Omani Women’s Association, to train a number of women from across the country in various handicrafts, such as tailoring and embroidery, dairy and bakery products manufacture, leathercraft, camel bone carving and silversmithing.
 Banat Oman wins prestigious global award

As part of PDO’s Banat Oman social enterprise initiative, a new dairy in wilayat Taqa has been established.  At the dairy, women from low income families have been trained to produce a range of delicious products, including yoghurt, cheese, butter and cream, which make use of the plentiful supply of milk in the surrounding area.

It has already proven a big success, having secured a contract to supply the Lulu hypermarket chain. And now the dairy has achieved global recognition, after receiving a prestigious award from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, which the women say is a tremendous incentive for them to keep progressing.

The project had been put forward for the UN awards by the Oman Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It duly finished first in its category, with the award being presented at an official ceremony hosted by the Ministry under the auspices of His Excellency Dr Ahmed Al Bakri, the Undersecretary.

Banat Oman goes on tour!

The UN award is just one example of Banat Oman becoming better known outside the Sultanate.  Women who have taken part in various training initiatives have also taken their skills on tour , participating in two important European trade fairs.

At the end of September 2015 Banat Oman ladies showed their wares at IFTM Top Resa, which is France's foremost international travel and tourism fair.Visitors to the event, held in Paris, duly snapped up almost €2,500 worth of hand-crafted goods that were put on display.

Then in October, the Banat Oman team travelled to the Oman Pavilion at Expo Milan 2015, to participate in a special Oman Women’s Week that celebrated the Sultanate’s female culture.During their visit the lady artisans showcased a range of products, including silverware, natural soap, palm frond goods and tailored items such as perfumed mini dishdashas.​

A military seal of approval

Not all the recent sales successes of Banat Oman have involved long haul travel, however, the keen buyers are right on the doorstep, a good example being marines and sailors from USS Anchorage (LPD-23), an amphibious transport dock which recently paid an official visit to the Port of Duqm.

American sailors from the craft spent almost US$1,500 on a selection of Banat Oman goods which were displayed by the scheme’s marketing partner, Al Hathaifa Modern Trading Enterprises. These included included bags, cushions, perfumed mini dishdashas, t-shirts, bowls and bookmarks.