Work on a sprawling QR1.6 billion poultry complex located in “strategic areas” across Qatar is officially underway, Dar Al Rayan Investment Co. has announced.
When finished, the project will provide a big boost for domestic chicken and egg production at a crucial time for Qatar, which is embroiled in a long dispute with its neighbors.
Yesterday, Dar Al Rayan said that its complex will have a production capacity of 70,000 tons of broiler meat and 250 million eggs per year.
Al Rayan Poultry will span 15 million square meters of land across Qatar, including at farms in the south, in Al Waab and in the north.
Plans are also afoot to build a feed mill that can supply poultry producers around the nation.
In a statement, company official Mohammed Hussein Al Ali said:
“Our focus is not just to build a poultry farm, but to create a whole ecosystem that supports the production of domestic poultry products.
Steps like providing parent stock poultry feed and factory will all support and encourage smaller broiler meat production units in the country. This, in the long run will contribute significantly to the local economy and domestic food security.”
Qatar has been talking about boosting domestic poultry production for years.
In 2014, the government announced plans to build a new chicken farm complex. There was even talk of floating an IPO on the public-private project.
But then in early 2015, the concept was put on hold amid other belt-tightening measures.
However, months later, Dar Al Rayyan was awarded QR1.3 billion by Qatar’s economy ministry after beating out three dozen other companies vying to set up a chicken farm.
No completion date for the poultry complex has been disclosed yet. But the project has taken on new importance in recent months as Qatar works to become more self-sufficient.
Officials had to scramble to negotiate new trade partners and routes for food and other supplies in June after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain cut ties for political reasons.
Since then, Qatar’s Emir has called on citizens to use the crisis as an opportunity and a wakeup call.
“We are opening our economy to initiatives, investments, production of food, medicine and ultimately to diversify our sources of income,” Sheikh Tamim said during a national address in July.