Local agricultural products meet around 70% of the market requirements in Qatar, local Arabic daily Arrayah has reported, citing a number of Qatari businessmen and investors.
Qatar could attain self-sufficiency in the production of certain types of vegetables within two years, they told the daily.
They stressed that the unjust blockade imposed on the country since June 5 last year has enhanced the importance of local farm products and the need to boost the production of such goods to achieve the desired food security.
Many businesspersons and investors have started making investments in agriculture as they consider it a promising sector. Also, it is believed that greater use of innovations in the field, state-of-the-art technology and climate-controlled greenhouses will help enhance production and prolong the season for various varieties of vegetables.
Businessman Abdulaziz al-Emadi estimated that local agricultural products currently meet around 60-70% of the local needs and could cover up to 100% within two years.
While supporting the idea of local farms selling their products directly to selling points and shopping malls to bring down the costs involved, he called on the entities concerned to pay further attention to unproductive farms and encourage them to be active producers.
Businessman Khalid al-Kuwari stressed the need for regulations that would make shopping malls buy directly from local farms to decrease costs and, in turn, lower the final selling price for consumers. He praised the various initiatives taken by the government in the recent past to encourage productive farms.
Saad al-Hajiri, another businessman, noted that the ongoing blockade has pushed forward the need to develop local products and now many of the locally produced vegetables excel over the imported ones in quality.
Qatar Chamber (QC) board member Mohamed bin Ahmed al-Obaidly, also chairman of the QC committee for food security and environment, stressed that the availability of locally produced vegetables has been steadily on the rise in the local market since the blockade was imposed in June 2017.
He pointed out that QC was working to maintain a balance between supply and demand to keep investment in the sector rewarding for both investors and consumers.