Qatar beyond the blockade: Farm production rises over 100%
According to a source at Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), local farms have increased their produce by more than 100 per cent since the illegal blockade of the country began more than a year ago, The Peninsula reported.
In addition, over 400 shaded agricultural facilities or greenhouses have been built on a number of farms. Since the siege of Qatar commenced, the government and local farmers have striven to amp up production to help meet local demand and needs.
“The farms have increased their production more after the siege, and there are about 1,400 agricultural farms in Qatar most of them located in the northern areas. The increase is only in the number of protected houses while the number of farms remains the same,” an official source told The Peninsula on Friday.
He also stated that the ministry will lend its support through providing guidance, equipment, agricultural fertilizers and vehicles to local farmers.
“The agriculture produce in Qatar has been increased and witnessing rapid development. For example, the Global Farm has added more than 85 protected houses in the last one year and the percentage of production has increased by 35 percent,” stated Ali Ahmed Al Kaabi, owner of the Global Farm.
“We also have a company to build greenhouses for other clients which is being done in collaboration with Qatar Development Bank. The company has constructed more than 400 greenhouses since the siege was imposed on Qatar,” he added.
Since the blockade, a number of local companies have created and applied initiatives to help non-productive local farmers increase their produce. Providing technical support and purchasing the yearly production of vegetables and fruits from local farmers and then marketing and selling them in the market are just some of the steps being taken.
Another important initiative by the MME is its plan to expand the cultivated land of local farmers so they may increase their level of productivity and provide more produce to the Qatari market.
It should be kept in mind that before June 5th of 2017, Qatar imported the vast majority of its food. A bit of a no-brainer, really, since the country is primarily a desert.
As a report by Time Magazine in 2012 indicated, nearly 90 per cent of all of Qatar’s food was imported from abroad. A great deal of essentials, such as meat and dairy products, came overland through Saudi Arabia—until the Gulf Crisis, that is.
With farms and businesses like Baladna picking up the slack to fulfill local food needs since the blockade began, Qatar has seen drastic steps towards food security; and with the right amount of luck, investment and expertise, this progress will hopefully continue.
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