As a result of its government’s continuous efforts to promote food security, Qatar was ranked best among Arabic-speaking countries for protecting its citizens from potential shortages.
Qatar’s Food Security Department in the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment is charged with identifying gaps among in the nation’s food supply. In addition, the department determines the economic feasibility of producing food domestically and providing land, irrigation, transportation and processing to accomplish that.
Qatar’s National Food Security Strategy focuses on four main concerns:
Exploring the types of food that can be produced or grown domestically without many inefficiencies.
Stockpiling and creating strategic reserves of imported foodstuffs that could feed the population for six months in an emergency.
Using foreign trade to replenish food and diversifying sources of imports.
Ensuring easy access to food, stability of prices and high quality in local markets.
In 2017, Qatar signed an agreement with the German firm Dorsch Qatar to establish the Hamad Port Food Security Project worth 1.6 billion Qatari riyals on 500,000 square meters of land.
A first of its kind in the country, the food-processing plant will be fully operational in 2020 and will have a minimum daily capacity to produce
300 tons of sugar, 500 tons of rice and 200 tons of cooking oil.
“Once the food-processing and storage facility becomes operational, a stockpile for 3 million people for two years will be insured,” Dorsch Qatar Operations Director Peter Neuschaefer said.
Despite shortages of arable land and water for irrigation, the country also endeavors to produce crops desired by its residents, including dates, root vegetables, salad greens and animal feed.
Many of the country’s more than 1,300 farms receive subsidies to cover part of their water and electricity expenses. Some of these operations have adopted hydroponics: growing crops without soil in mineral-rich solutions.
Some of the larger farms include the Al Sulaiteen Industrial Complex, AGRICO and the Global Farm for Agricultural Supplies.
Sources: Qatar Tribune, Al Sharq