Browsing 'mawashi' News


Following last year’s chicken shortage, the Qatar Meat and Livestock Co. (formerly known as Mawashi) has been working on plans to move into poultry products.

The company, now known as Widam Food, aims to produce 22 million chickens a year to sell domestically, Bloomberg reports.

It has sought a license to build a $124 million poultry plant, but government approval has been slow as land and water issues are being studied, said Ahmad Nasser Sariya Al-Kaabi, managing director.

Reducing food dependence

In the fall of 2012, Qatar witnessed a severe shortage of fresh chicken after Saudi Arabia stopped exporting poultry, due in part to demand in its own country. 

Despite initial claims that Qatar’s locally raised chickens could cover the shortfall left by the ban, many stores around Doha sold out of fresh poultry within hours of putting it on the shelves.

Qatar previously saw shortages and rising prices of poultry in 2009, amid fears of avian influenza (bird flu).

Widam, which is diversifying away from cattle into poultry, also plans to pursue fish farming and build a new plant to make hamburger, sausage and other processed meats, Al-Kaabi told Bloomberg.

Qatar imports 90 percent of its food and has been working to shore up its food security so as to reduce its dependence on goods from other countries.


Credit: Photo by Chesapeake Bay Program

Faced with a shortage of fresh poultry, Qatar is preparing to import its first shipment of halal Bulgarian chicken, an official at the Qatar Meat and Livestock Company (also known as Mawashi) has reportedly told Al Sharq.

The availability of fresh chicken here has plummeted in the six weeks since Saudi Arabia banned the export of poultry to stabilize pricing at home.

KSA’s chickens previously accounted for a significant portion of Qatar’s poultry, 70 percent of which is imported, according to a feasibility study conducted by Mawashi.

It remains unclear when the Saudi export ban will end.


Despite initial claims that Qatar’s locally raised chickens could cover the shortfall left by the ban, many stores around Doha have been selling out of fresh poultry within hours of putting it on the shelves – if they carry any at all.

Mawashi, which this month began diversifying away from cattle, had previously announced that it would import frozen Bulgarian chicken into Qatar to “test” the market as part of a plan to ramp up poultry products in the country, the Peninsula reports.

Bulgaria was selected for the quality of its meat and Islamic slaughtering practices, Al Sharq said.

“We hope that this shipment arrives in the market soon,” the Mawashi official told the newspaper.

Have you had any trouble buying fresh or frozen chicken lately?


Credit: Photo by Shabina S. Khatri

Qatar maintains that the live sheep it purchased from the same shipment rejected by Bahrain for being infected with disease is safe to eat, media reports state.

Qatar bought the sheep from an Australian sheep, the MV Ocean Drover, last month.

Drover had set sail for the Middle East in early August and offloaded some 46,000 sheep into Qatar and 7,000 into Oman two weeks later, ABC reports.

But Bahrain has rejected the remaining 22,000 sheep, saying the livestock was diseased with “scabby mouth,” which is caused by a virus that could infect humans.

Qatar’s Ministry oF Environment, however, said earlier this week that the shipment imported by Mawashi was free from all diseases.

A Mawashi official also added that the cost of sheep may increase next year is the price of grain continues to rise internationally.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has agreed to accept the Drover’s remaining livestock, which has concerned animal welfare rights groups because the sheep have been stranded at sea for two weeks in 40C weather.


Credit: Photo by Andreas Cappell