Qatar has boosted its agriculture, poultry and livestock production over the past few years, in particular compared to the period before the unjust blockade was imposed on the country by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt on June 5, 2017.
A report published in local Arabic daily Arrayah stressed that the country has made great strides in achieving food security and self-sufficiency in local food production.
The national food security strategy adopted by the country for 2019-2023 is mainly based on four elements. These include local production using the least possible amount of water and electricity and by utilising sophisticated technology such as greenhouses, in order to achieve around 70% self-sufficiency in vegetable production and having to import only 30% of the vegetables required. This takes into consideration the possibility of raising the quality of local products by making them competitive vis-a-vis the imported ones.
The second and third elements of the strategy entail strategic storage, international trade and logistics services to secure the diversification of food supply sources. Accordingly, each food item would be imported from 3-5 different countries around the world.
The fourth element involves managing the local market by offering customers high-quality food items at fair and reasonable prices, the report states.
In the agricultural field, the Ministry Municipality & Environment (MME) has taken the necessary steps to achieve the desired self-sufficiency in vegetable production. The current percentage of self-sufficiency in this regard is around 24%, and this would be increased to 70% through 10 projects offered to investors to grow various types of vegetables through greenhouses - producing around 21,000 tonnes of vegetables a year.
In addition, the MME will study 24 new strategic projects to produce vegetables through greenhouses with a space of 100,000sqm allocated to each project. The maximum production capacity is expected to be more than 50,000 tonnes a year.
Besides, the MME has given due support to dates-producing farms to enhance self-sufficiency from 86% to 90% within a year.
The ministry has also offered to investors four projects to produce green livestock fodder using treated recycled sewage water over a space of 8.5mn sqm to produce around 14,000 tonnes of green fodder. There will be six other projects to produce around 16,000 tonnes of green fodder annually to increase the level of self-sufficiency from 55% to 63%.
Significant support has been provided to livestock producers through a number of programmes, such as the MME's initiative to buy sheep from local farms in co-operation with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Finance, aiming to raise self-sufficiency in this regard from 15% to 30%.
In poultry production, too, major strides have been made by the MME - boosting production from 11,000 tonnes in 2017 to 22,000 tonnes annually, achieving 100% self-sufficiency in this area. As for table eggs, the ministry has announced eight projects to produce eggs in local farms in co-operation with Qatar Development Bank, in order to increase self-sufficiency from 28% to 70%.
For fisheries, the MME's strategy is focused on the expansion at fish farming projects by offering a number of key projects to investors to further enhance local fish production.
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