HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi on Thursday stressed on the importance of achieving food security, noting that a 100% production of the local needs might not be possible because of the difficult summer conditions in Qatar.
But he, however, said that agricultural production could increase sharply and meet 50% of the local needs.
The minister was speaking at the concluding session of the sixth edition of Qatar International Agricultural Exhibition (AgriteQ 2018) at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Al-Rumaihi honoured sponsors and companies taking part in the event, including Qatari farms and livestock breeders.
The minister told Qatar News Agency that this year's exhibition gained more prominence due to the interest shown by His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani in the agricultural sector and food security.
Al-Rumaihi expressed his satisfaction at the outcome of the exhibition for all the participants. He added that all participating companies met with one another and were happy to be part of this year's event.
The minister noted that plenty of deals were made between businessmen and farmers, highlighting that foreign companies also benefited greatly from participating as their representatives met with people in the agricultural sector and got all the information they needed. They also got financial support from banks and financial institutions including Qatar Development Bank, he added.
Al-Rumaihi said that this support led to the success of the exhibition, in addition to the participation of citizens, particularly women, who showed real interest in promoting agriculture.
He said that there was an exhibition for schools' produce, set up by Weill Cornell Medicine and Qatar Foundation, which was a huge success. He said that five Qatari schools participated this year, hailing the commitment shown by schools.
AgriteQ 2018 represented a platform for participants during which they learned about the latest developments in the agricultural sector at the local and international levels, as well as exchanging experiences and exploring investment and business opportunities in this vital sector.
The continuation of holding AgriteQ 2018 sessions with the participation of a group of experts, specialists, and stakeholders, confirms the keenness of the State of Qatar and the wise leadership to promote the agricultural sector and make it a top priority of the State, as a cornerstone of the pillars of economic diversification. It also contributes to the pursuit of self-sufficiency in agricultural production, reducing reliance on imported products and raising domestic production capacity in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.
During the 6th edition of AgriteQ, the most important innovations in agricultural technologies were discussed. A series of lectures and meetings were held which discussed current and future projects in the agricultural sector with farm owners, agricultural experts, government agencies, environmental specialists and technology providers.
Moreover, the exhibition included seminars, presentations, reports and open forums, as well as presenting the most important opportunities and latest technologies that can be used to support the growing agricultural sector in Qatar.
Among the highlights of the event was the enterprise reconciliation platform, a specialised platform for reconciling enterprises and businesses to meet senior decision makers and agricultural industry leaders from the public and private sectors. The auction showcased cattle, poultry, and other animals to a group of farmers. In addition, a series of workshops were organised under the supervision of experts and technicians working in the agricultural sector to introduce the latest technologies adopted in this sector.
Meanwhile, the first edition of Qatar International Agricultural Conference was held on the sideline of AgriteQ, which aims at bringing together agricultural, environmental, veterinary and technology service providers from around the world, discussing strategies to meet the demand for agriculture in Qatar.
The exhibition provided an educational theatre for children and youth, which contributed greatly to the establishment of the concept of agriculture, in addition to a mini zoo that included several types of animals and birds in order to provide them and other visitors with entertaining educational experiences.
Furthermore, AgriteQ shed light on the most important products, machines, and technologies for a wide range of agricultural professionals. The exhibition played a leading and pioneering role in promoting opportunities with senior public and private sector decision-makers, in addition to the establishment of a network of relationships with distributors and potential buyers of agricultural services and products, as well as exchanging experiences and knowledge with local and international actors, and the latest developments in the agricultural sector in Qatar.