More than 80 percent of Qatar’s farms are considered “unproductive,” but a government-owned company is hoping to change that through a new initiative.
This week, Hassad Food announced the launch of Iktefa’ (sufficiency), a new plan to subsidize Qatari farms to help them bring “high quality products to the local market.”
Hassad said that under the initiative, it will:
- Purchase the annual yield of local farms and resell them to the Qatar market;
- Provide technical supervision and logistical support to farms; and
- Develop feasibility studies for farms seeking financial support to build greenhouses.
Local farms are being invited to work with Hassad as it seeks to buy up to 5,000 tons of fresh produce a year initially.
In a statement, Hassad’s CEO Mohamed AlSadah said “We hope that through this important initiative, (we) will build bridges of cooperation with local farmers.”
Food security has been a growing concern for import-dependent Qatar.
The issue has taken on renewed importance this summer since the Gulf dispute began and the country lost some of its key food imports.
Hassad Food has long been working to shore up Qatar’s food supply. It has also been involved in getting the country food during this recent crisis.
It was established in 2008 and is a subsidiary of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.
In addition to investing in local agriculture, Hassad has food-related projects in Australia, Pakistan and Oman.
According to its website, it is also eying future investments in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.