Hassad, Qatar’s premier investor in food sector is planning to invest QR200mn in the fodder sector over the next three years, as part of the strategy to achieve self-sufficiency, according to its top official.
The expansion plans comprise developing 15 additional new pivots on 1,200 hectares, to produce 25,000 tonnes of green fodder annually, said Hassad chief executive Mohamed al-Sadah.
Hassad plans to cover more than 50% of the local market needs from the primary fodder materials, he said, emphasising the availability of strategic stock from both green and manufactured fodder at the firm's warehouses.
Mohamed al-Sadah, chief executive , Hassad
“Alaaf Qatar” currently produces the main products needed by the local market, such as the Alfa Alfa and Rhodes at its farms (Irkiyyah, Sailiya and Rifa), which spans a land area of 900 hectares, producing more than 8,500 tonnes (in 2019).
"Furthermore, there is a plan to increase the production levels to 10,000 tonnes this year," he said.
More than 100,000 tonnes of primary fodder materials (barley, soy and corn gluten), which currently covers about 30% of the market's need was provided by Alaaf Qatar.
The company also provided 8,000 tonnes of fodder supplements and imported green fodder during the past year. In 2020, Alaaf Qatar is scheduled to supply 200,000 tonnes of primary fodder materials, with the aim to cover more than 50% of the local market needs.
Alfa Alfa grown in Irkkiyah Farm as fodder
Highlighting that in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Alaaf Qatar distributed more than 3.5mn bags of state-subsidised products to livestock owners in 2019, he said "this percentage is expected to increase by 15% for the current year."
Alaaf Qatar currently owns seven fodder sales points distributed across the country; Simaisma, Um Slal, Abu Hamour, Al Wakra, Irkiyyah, Al Shahaniya and a new sales point has been recently opened in Al Wakra Central Market to meet the needs of livestock owners.
Other sales points are currently being developed in Abu Nakhla and Al Karaana, scheduled to open during this year.
On the poultry sector, Arab Qatari Company for Poultry Production- Al Waha's second phase will increase the local production to 16mn a year - the additional 6mn chicken to be allocated to frozen poultry production lines and cuts. Furthermore, the company’s production of table eggs would reach 130mn per year.
"We are currently working in full capacity to operate the second phase of the expansion, which will see a noticeable increase in local poultry production levels,” al-Sadah said, adding the first phase saw the company cover 70% of the market demands.
Mahaseel for Marketing and Agri Services Company has marketed 15mn kg of vegetables during the current agricultural season.
"We founded Mahaseel after studying the market needs, and identifying the suitable mechanism to support the private agricultural sector, in order to contribute in achieving self-sufficiency,” he said.
Mahaseel currently markets 30 different vegetable varieties in the local market, through 44 hypermarkets outlets around the country. Moreover, 200 local farms are registered with Mahaseel, to benefit from the marketing and agricultural services provided to them.
As for international investments, Hassad has invested in A’Saffa foods, which is considered the largest poultry project in Oman.
"The company is currently undergoing expansion plans to double its production by next year, to reach 44mn birds per year," he added.