Qatar To Invest In 1,4000 New Local Farms

qatar organic farmsQatar is hoping to boost its food security by setting up 1,400 agricultural farms covering an area of 45,000 hectares

Following the recent news that the United Arab Emirates is slowly embracing organic farming, are more signs that the Gulf States are slowly recognising the importance of food sustainability. Qatar has announced plans to establish 1,400 farms to improve its food production and also train more people to work in the agricultural sector to improve productivity.

The announcement was made by the chairman of the Qatar National Food Security Program Mohamed Al Attiyah, who also noted that existing farms were working at only 10% of their capacity. Lack of qualified staff as well as limited funding means that the agricultural sector in Qatar is far from performing at its full potential, he added.

The new farms are hoping to help resolve this issue of productivity as they will be using the latest agricultural technology and plans are also afoot to establish educational institutions that would improve the knowledge of those working in the sector.

The work to improve food sustainability is part of a wider government programme which is hoping to create four distinct economies- namely renewable energy, water, agriculture and food. Qatar currently imports 90% of its food and the wider programme wants to change that over the next 10 years. Attiyah told the Peninsular Qatar that with issues such as climate change and water shortages, if the problem of food security is not addressed it could “pose a very serious problem for future development.”

Countries in the Middle East, particularly the Gulf States, have been criticized for their efforts to improve food security by buying up tracts of fertile land in Africa. Over the last couple of years, this worrying trend has seen a rapid increase with the UAE believed to be the third top buyer of global farmland in the world following China and South Korea.

And it’s not only Gulf states that are relying on land in Africa to grow their own food. Egypt has also being buying up land in Sudan to improve its supply of staple foods such as wheat rather than focusing on improving its own farming techniques and supporting local farms.

Let’s hope that Qatar’s plans are followed through and that the country becomes an example of how to become food secure by cultivating land at home.

: Image of farm in Qatar via Marlon Garcia/Flickr.

: The Peninsula Qatar.

For more on food sustainability in the Middle East see:

Organic Farming On The Rise in Emirates

Global Land Grabs And The Middle East

Egypt To Gran Sudanese Land To Meet Its Wheat Needs

3 thoughts on “Qatar To Invest In 1,4000 New Local Farms

  1. Lj

    Food security hould be the top most priority of Qatar. It is scary though that Qatar rely 90% of its food supply from imports. I believe Qatar should allot more attention how to achieve food security apart from building sports facilities like stadium. Food is a basic necessity, this is one way to reduce their import expenditures in the long run amd to ensure they can feed its people should there be unfavorable circumstances in the future. There are agricultural technology experts from Japan and Philippines they can employ to assess and work on the feasibility of developing an agricultural system model suitable to Qatar’s extreme weather conditions. In Japan they have advanced technology while they can look for highly competent people from the Philippines in the actual implementation.

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