07 Jan 2018 - 10:09

A morale boost

The Peninsula

Agricultural production in Qatar is increasing by the day. Measures to boost the farm sector in the country are yielding results despite the unjust blockade.

This is evident from the fact that  premium quality local produce are available in huge quantities in the market. The market is stable and the prices of vegetables have started falling. Also, non-productive farms covering a total area of 600,000 square metres are expected to start producing vegetables from next agricultural season under an initiative “Iktafa” launched by Hassad Food to increase the local production.

The Mahaseel (Harvest) Festival that concluded recently saw citizens, westerners and expatriates flock in huge numbers to Katara to buy locally-grown farm produce, fruits, dairy and poultry products. The festival represented 22 Qatari farms and six national food companies offering a variety of high quality freshly picked farm produce as well as dairy, poultry and honey, to name a few, at competitive prices. The festival provided a platform for local farms and food production businesses to directly sell high quality products to consumers.

Even winter vegetable markets are playing a vital role in encouraging the country’s farm sector. The markets Al Mazrouah, Al Khor-Dhakhira and Al Wakrah attracted scores of people. In 2012 when seasonal winter vegetable markets were launched only 24 farmers participated and 800 tonnes of vegetables were sold. Last year by the end of season, a total of 5,600 tonnes vegetables were sold at three markets. Also, three new markets at Muaither, Al Shihaniya and Al Ruwais will open soon. 

With huge support and financing options from Qatar Development Bank, farmers increased vegetable production capacity and are planning to double the harvest. Moreover, over 500 greenhouses with a total area of 280,000sqm have been added to the existing capacity of local farms. 

The new facilities will not only help increase the local produce of vegetables but will also keep giving yield round the year.  Two major agricultural projects were also revealed to continue the production of vegetables throughout the year to increase self-sufficiency. 

Minister of Municipality and Environment H E Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi recently had said that the unjust blockade led Qatar to double farm produce and other foodstuff to ensure food security and that all the projects were accomplished without any impact. Farms in the country are also making headway in the field of research and development and making relentless efforts to enhance the production and support the sector to attain self-sufficiency. All in all, local farms are set to play a crucial role in ensuring food security in times to come.