Qatar ranked first in food security in MENA region

Qatar ranked first in food security in MENA region

By QLNews

Qatar has left no stone unturned in ensuring food security over the years, in particular since the start of the Gulf crisis when the country could no longer receive imported food supplies from the blockading nations.

The country worked above and beyond to achieve food security whether through building food storage facilities, growing its own vegetables and fruits in schools, or simply flying in some cows to shore up its local milk production.

Just last month, His Excellency the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari reiterated that food security is a top priority for Qatar and is one of the main pillars of sustainable development under Qatar National Vision 2030.

In a matter of only two years, Qatar’s self-sufficiency of dairy products went up from 27 percent to 106 percent and from 49 percent to 123 percent in terms of fresh poultry, the Minister highlighted at the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019.

Reflecting that all these efforts have borne fruit, Qatar was ranked number 1 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the Global Food Security Index for 2019.

According to foodsecurityindex.com, “the Global Food Security Index considers the core issues of affordability, availability, and quality across a set of 113 countries.”

The country also moved up nine spots in global food security rankings to reach the 13th position on the index, Qatar News Agency reported yesterday. In 2018, Qatar stood at 22nd place in the index.

Released in December 2019, the index includes three sub-indices: consumer’s ability to afford food, food availability, and food safety and quality.

At a recent press conference to announce Qatar’s accomplishments in this area, Sheikh Dr Falih bin Nasser Al Thani, Assistant Undersecretary for Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and some other officials working in the sector said the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Food Security in the State for 2019 has been instrumental in this achievement.

Qatar witnessed a massive rise in the production of vegetables, livestock, and fish.

Local vegetable production rose from 55,000 tonnes in 2017 to 74,000 currently. Self-sufficiency in local vegetables reached 27 percent.

Dairy production has reached 230,000 tonnes presently from about 60,000 tonnes in 2017, while self-sufficiency stands at 106 percent from only 28 percent earlier.

Chicken production expanded from about 11,000 tonnes in 2017 to approximately 28,000 tonnes in 2019.

Eggs production also increased from 4,000 tonnes in 2017 to 9,000 tonnes in 2019, while red meat production has gone up to 10,000 tonnes from 8,000 in 2017.

Qatar has also made notable strides in the production of dates as well as green fodder, with self-sufficiency rates standing at 86 percent and 54 percent of each, respectively.

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Source: Gulf Times 
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