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Posted On: 9 January 2020 10:09 am
Updated On: 9 January 2020 10:15 am

Qatar ranked first in Arab World in indicators of achieving food security!

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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The State of Qatar has maintained the first Arab position in the indicators of achieving food security, and it jumped to 13th place globally after it was ranked 22nd in 2018, according to the World Food Security Index issued in December 2019, which is based on three sub-indicators including consumer's ability to afford food, food availability, and food safety and quality.

Last year, the State launched strategic projects to support food security, and made great achievements in this context.

This was highlighted during a press conference today in which Sheikh Dr. Falih bin Nasser Al Thani, Assistant Undersecretary for Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and a number of officials in the sector spoke about outcome of the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Food Security in the state for 2019.

Sheikh Dr. Falih bin Nasser Al -Thani emphasized that the Ministry, represented by the agriculture and fisheries affairs sector, had made great achievements in the field of food security and self-sufficiency as a result of implementing many national strategic projects during the past year, represented by a significant increase in agricultural production, which in turn contributed to raising self-sufficiency ratio in a number of different commodities.

He reviewed the most important achievements and initiatives that were taken during the past year through the States efforts to advance agricultural production to achieve the desired food security, which contributed to supporting the agricultural sector towards realizing great successes during the recent period, indicating that the agricultural sector has made great strides towards achieving food security , in various agricultural, plant, livestock and fish fields.

He said that during the year 2019, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment launched several initiatives and projects for private sector investors, where (10) projects for the production of vegetables in greenhouses were presented with an annual production capacity of about (21) thousand tons for all of them, in addition to (4) projects concerned with production of green fodder with treated wastewater with an annual production capacity of about (17) thousand tons for the four projects.

Two projects were also launched for the production of concentrated feed with an annual production capacity of about (50) thousand tons, while for organic fertilizers two projects were also launched with an annual production capacity of about (12) thousand tons for the two projects.

Regarding dairy production, Sheikh Falih Bin Nasser Al -Thani said that two projects were also launched to produce camel milk with an annual capacity of about 3 thousand tons for the two projects. Also, 4 projects were proposed for the production of table eggs in farms, funded by the Qatar Development Bank, with a capacity of about (180) million eggs annually, as well as two projects for fish farming in floating cages with a production capacity of about (4000) tons for the two projects, besides a project for shrimp farming with a production capacity an annual amount of about (1000) tons.

The Assistant Undersecretary for Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs touched on the most prominent initiatives and assistance provided by the Ministry of Municipal and Environment to local producers, including the provision of concentrated feed for livestock breeders and livestock production requirements, in addition to supporting municipal poultry fortifications in farms, and supporting farms with agricultural production requirements such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and marketing packing, while fishermen were supported with a number of fish and snow refrigerators.

For his part, Masoud Jarallah Al-Marri, Director of the Ministry of Food Security, said that the State of Qatar maintained the first rank in the Arab world, and jumped to the 13th position globally after it was ranked 22 in 2018, according to the World Food Security Index last December.

He noted that the measurement of the general index of food security depends on three sub-indicators, which are the consumers ability to bear the cost of food, the availability of food, and the safety and quality of food, explaining in this context that Qatar is the first Arab and global according to the sub-index on the consumers ability to bear the cost of food, and the third is Arab , 38 globally according to the sub-index on food availability, the first in the Arab world, and 13 globally, according to the sub-index on food safety and quality.

Al-Marri pointed out that this remarkable jump from 22nd to 13th globally in just one year, after the adoption of the National Food Security Strategy, which was adopted in 2018, is an indication that this national plan has contributed significantly to achieving food self-sufficiency, with the aim of improving the level of food security in the country.

He noted that the National Food Security Strategy depends on four important pillars that include local production, internal supply chains, international trade, logistics, and strategic storage.

He stressed that the local production pillar is considered one of the strongest pillars as it is achieving growth in line with the implementation plan of the food security strategy, while the pillar of internal supply chains has made satisfactory progress, as the data indicate the success of the marketing programs followed in increasing the rates of marketing local products, in addition to establishing Mahaseel company which is expected to contribute to strengthening the domestic market and internal supply chains.

With regard to the international trade and logistics, he said that it requires diversification of the import sources of food commodities to avoid interruption, adding that a plan has been developed in this regard and its experience on the ground, while with regard to the strategic storage, important steps have been taken to raise the strategic stock of the State of basics commodities in line with what is stated in the strategy.

For his part, Yousef Khaled Al-Khulaifi, Director of the Agricultural Affairs Department said that the support of the State and the efforts of the private sector and farm owners contributed to the increasing quantities and types of local products of agricultural crops during the last period, indicating that the ministry focused in recent years on improving local marketing and finding various outlets to market the local product through the local product areas , Qatar farms, and the distinguished product in the various consumer complexes, which contributed to marketing 30 percent of the local farm products through the projects that were launched during the last period.

With regard to supporting local producers, Al-Khulaifi said that a number of greenhouses were installed, some of which began production process, adding that the target number is 3500 greenhouses with an area of 110 hectares to produce 10 thousand tons, which contributes to increasing production by 15 percent.

Abdulaziz Al-Ziyara, Director of the Animal Resources Department, confirmed that the department is working on implementing a strategy that will last for 5 years, with the aim of preventing transitional and epidemic diseases affecting livestock. It also seeks during the coming period to develop the halal numbering system, to contribute significantly and serve as an early warning for any epidemic disease that may affect animals and controlling it before it occurs, as well as contributing to the development of the system of veterinary laboratories in a way that helps in taking decisions in this regard to preserve animal wealth.

Hamad Al-Shammari, Director of the Agricultural Research Department, said that the department has developed a strategic plan emanating from the National Food Security Plan for the Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs Sector, to create harmony and fluidity in work and achieve the desired goals.

He added that the Department relies on four main initiatives including setting recommendations and policies, developing research stations and laboratories, and developing joint projects to be able to achieve the main goals of the sector, through conducting applied plant research such as the production of dates, palm varieties and other pastoral wild plants, in addition to Livestock applied research through Animal research station that conducts feed research, which contributes to the development of quality livestock production.

On the same level, Abdulaziz Al-Dehaimi, Director of the Fish Wealth Department, said that the Department has a national strategy 2018 - 2022 aimed at reaching self-sufficiency of fresh fish and maintaining fish stocks, and the establishment of a number of fish and shrimp farms.

He added that the Ministry of Municipality and Environment sought to establish the Water Research Center, with the aim of supporting research institutions in this field at the national and regional levels, as it is a center specialized in studies and research related to marine science and fish farming, as well as its endeavor to support fish stocks and biodiversity.

It is worth noting that the State of Qatar represented in the Ministry of Municipality and Environment pays special attention to the issue of food security as an important and vital issue, as the ministry's strategy in this regard mainly aims to achieve food security, while the agricultural sector witnessed a "vegetable, livestock and fish" a large production boom during the recent period has contributed to occupying an advanced position in the field of food security in the State of Qatar.

In this context, it increased for the vegetable sector, the production of local vegetables of about 55 thousand tons in 2017, covering about 20 percent of local consumption, to reach about 74 thousand tons this year, raising the percentage of self-sufficiency of local vegetables to 27 percent. The production of dates in the country increased from about 28 thousand tons in 2017, which represents about 84 percent of self-sufficiency, bringing the current production volume to about 29.5 thousand tons, representing about 86 percent of self-sufficiency, while the production of green fodder in 2017 reached about 95 thousand tons with a self-sufficiency rate of 44 percent, to rise and currently reach about 115 thousand tons, which represents a self-sufficiency rate in excess of about 54 percent .

Regarding the livestock sector, it has made tremendous strides towards achieving food security, as dairy production increased from about 60,000 tons in 2017, with a self-sufficiency rate of only 28 percent, bringing production from milk and milk products to about 230,000 tons today, which is what it reaches a self-sufficiency rate of more than 106 percent.

The State of Qatar has also been able to achieve a significant production boom in the production of fresh chicken, as production of broiler chickens increased from about 11,000 tons in 2017, representing about 50 percent of domestic consumption, so the volume of production of fresh chicken is now approximately 28,000 tons annually, covering more than 124 percent of the Qatari market consumption.

With regard to the production of eggs, the production of the State of Qatar increased from about 4 thousand tons in 2017, representing about 14 percent of domestic consumption, bringing the current production volume to approximately 9 thousand tons per year, and this covers more than 28 percent of the consumption of the Qatari market. eggs, while the production of red meat increased from about 8 thousand tons in 2017, representing about 13 percent of domestic consumption, to currently reach about 10 thousand tons, with a self-sufficiency rate of about 18 percent.

With regard to the fish wealth sector, the total fish production in the State is currently about 15 thousand tons annually, representing about 74 percent of the self-sufficiency of fish, bearing in mind that due to the importance of maintaining the fish stock in the country and not depleting it through increasing the fishing effort, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment attaches importance for fish farming projects as the appropriate way to increase fish production in the country without affecting fish stocks.

(Source: QNA)