The Business Year

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In spite of a challenging climate, farmers have come up with ingenious ways to achieve Qatar's dreams of food sufficiency, creating strong linkages between farms and the government and equipping local farms with better techniques and agricultural know-how.

Thawab Al-Kuwari

General Manager, Qatarat Agricultural Development Company (QADCO)

We were established due to Qatar’s high demand and special requirements. We ensure vegetable production and help farmers acquire quality seeds and fertilizers to manage their farms. We have three farms that we fully manage and own measuring about 6.5 million sqm in total. We have contracts with other farms where we help them with imports, marketing, or new agriculture technology such as hydroponic systems. We have engineers working in the field and supporting farmers. We also support traditional farmers in managing the quality and productivity of their trees. We are doing our best as a company to participate and produce more high-quality vegetables and spread agricultural knowledge, with the aim of making Qatar more independent and food secure. We have invested more than QAR45 million (USD12.36 million) toward creating new lands and bringing new technology to increase our productivity and support Qatar’s food security. We are also working on the diversity of our plants and bringing in new varieties resilient to high temperatures and humidity levels. We have had great success with certain varieties of cucumber that are able to grow in 60 degrees. We are working with these cucumber varieties with at least 45 farms. We are also looking at many other vegetables such as tomato and sweet potato. There are 1,600 farms in Qatar but no more than 100 productive ones, so there are many farms to work with and make productive. We aim to represent at least 50% of Qatar’s farms.

Nasser Ahmed al-Khalaf

Managing Director, Agrico

At Agrico, we do everything from A-Z: greenhouse manufacturing, consultancy, design, operation, packing, distribution, and marketing. Recently, we have been focusing on farm development. We have developed a total of 150,000sqm of farmland outside of our own farm. We develop systems for private villas so that people can grow their own vegetables. We operate and maintain greenhouses and projects and expect at least two or three large-scale projects by the end of 2019. Our target is to achieve a minimum of 500,000sqm farm development each year. Our own farm is around 240,000sqm. Local farming will boom over the next three to five years. There is still a gap that needs to be filled by local production. The government is also working hard with farm owners to solve their problems and interfere in pricing to make sure both farms and consumers are getting a fair price. When we started in 2011, you could count the number of productive farms in your hands, there was not more than 10 to 15. Today, there are 400. For me, the increase in number is good but the increase in number is not a solution. Rather, it is the increase of efficiency in production. If these 400 were producing using our technology, consuming less water, utilizing better fertilizers and seeds, and incorporating beneficial insects, Qatar could be exporting within one season. Developing this part takes time and it is our duty to develop this sector. We will not rest until we see Qatar self-sufficient with vegetable production

Mohamad Rankoussi

General Manager, Mohamad Rankoussi

Mazzraty was an idea we were working on through conducting feasibility studies. Construction started two months after the blockade happened, and we were working 24/7. We saw a shortage of fresh food in Qatar and identified the market need. Because we already had a food license, we could immediately operate the business. Al Mana Group stepped forward and wanted to support its country, so it immediately gave us the go ahead. We also have a great partnership with Qatar Development Bank (QDB). Most of our equipment comes from the best suppliers, and we consulted many professional teams who helped us greatly in this area. We were able to establish a complete poultry project including feed mill, hatcheries, broiler house, slaughter house, fertilizer house, rendering unit, water treatment, and RO unit. In total, our project has 22 buildings. We have one farm here but eight main factories, and each one can be completely independent. Mazzraty is the first project that is 100% environmentally friendly. Every single detail was carefully evaluated in the planning stage. Our target is to have zero waste. In the facility, we have a fertilizer factory that recycles the manure, a protein factory that recycles all solid waste, and a water treatment facility that recycles all liquid waste. Even street lighting was installed with added solar panels to minimize electricity consumption. We hope to lead the way in sustainability and environmental responsibility.



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