Browsing 'food security' News

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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

Egg production at Al Rayan Poultry

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.”

Past plans

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.

Video still

Sheikh Tamim addresses the nation about the Gulf dispute.

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.

Thoughts?

All photos courtesy of Baladna on Facebook

Moooove over, Turkish milk.

The second batch of a planned 4,000 cows has arrived in Qatar this weekend, local dairy farm Baladna has announced.

The Holsteins are expected to provide much-needed relief to Qatar’s existing dairy farms, which have been overworked since the Gulf dispute began last month.

Up until the boycott, Saudi Arabia met most of Qatar’s fresh dairy needs.

But once the nation closed its borders, authorities had to quickly arrange to bring in milk and yogurt from Turkey and other countries.

Big plans

A local businessman has since announced plans to spend $8 million on importing cows to help shore up the country’s own supply of the products.

Last month, Moutaz Al Khayyat, chairman of Power International Holding, said the cows will be flown in on as many as 60 Qatar Airways flights, from Germany, Australia and the US.

So far, 330 cows have made the journey, and some have even already given birth to calfs.

Baladna/Facebook

Baladna cows

The animals’ milk is being processed at a farm some 50km north of Doha.

Al Khayyat said he eventually hopes his farm will meet one-third of Qatar’s demand for fresh dairy products.

Thoughts?

Muhammed Salih/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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.”

Penny Yi Wang/Flickr

Farmer’s 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

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

Zulal Oasis

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.

Thoughts?