100,000 tonnes of agricultural produce in 2022 by Qatar; increasing self-sufficiency rate of the country in vegetables to 46 percent
07 Jan 2023News
According to Director of Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality, Youssef Khalid Al Khulaifi, the local vegetables production witnessed an increase of over 100 percent last year compared to 2017. He said that the season is being expanded by ensuring agricultural produce throughout the year with the support of greenhouses.
Since the climate of Qatar is not much favourable to produce vegetables in farms during summer, suitable environment for growing vegetables was provided through cold houses (shaded facilities with necessary equipment to serve as greenhouse) as per Al Khulaifi.
He said that the imported cold houses, which were used after making necessary modification to suite the local climate, have contributed greatly in increasing the agricultural output.
Al Khulaifi said that the Agricultural Research Department made partnerships with a number of research intuitions to develop water efficient cold houses for agricultural produce according to the climate of Qatar.
The Director of Agricultural Affairs Department also highlighted marketing platforms provided by the Department to local farms to sell their produce directly to consumers without any middlemen.
The first marketing platform, Yard for Selling Agricultural Produce, was opened at Al Mazrouah in 2012 which was gradually increased to five markets.
Al Khulaifi said that after successful experience of Al Mazrouh market in term of attracting a large number of consumers, the Department extended the operating hours of the yards in Al Wakrah and Al Khor from three days in a week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) to 7-days a week at the start of this season.
Now three yards (vegetable markets) which opened in November continue their operations round the week. The remaining two markets in Al Sheehaniya and Al Shamal are on Thursdays and Fridays only.
Al Khulaifi said the Ministry of Municipality is also running ‘Qatar Farms' and ‘Premium Products' programmes, enabling local farmers to sell their produce through major commercial outlets.
“Mahaseel for Marketing and Agri. Services Company (a subsidiary of Hassad) was also set up to market local vegetables as per Al Khulaifi.
He said that these platforms provided by the Ministry of Municipality, are contributing in selling over 50 percent of local agricultural produce and that the market shares of these platforms are expected to grow significantly this year.
The move to increase local vegetable produce is part of a massive programme running under National Food Security Strategy (2018-23) to develop the agricultural sector and to expand and enhance the commercial activities of food production.
This is through developing policies to support the private sector with investment incentives creating opportunities to build projects to ensure food security.
To encourage the private sector to come forward in ensuring food security, the Ministry of Municipality has offered investment opportunities to the private sector through public-private partnership programme.