President of Qatar’s National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) Mohammed Bin Fahd Al Atiyah said that the country will be self-sufficiently between 60% and 70% of its food needs by 2023.
Talking to Qatar News Agency, Al Atiyah said that he believes that applying the latest technology to cultivate dry land will hold the key to improving Qatar’s food security.
Qatar currently relies on countries oversees to secure its nutritional needs with the country importing 90% of its nutritional needs. But Al Atiyah said that Qatar is well on its way to make its agricultural oversees reliance a thing of the past; QNFSP has set a five-stage plan to increase Qatar’s agricultural self-dependence by upwards of 50% in the coming 12 years, he said.
QNFSP currently has finished three of the four planning strategies, and Al Atiyah expects to start the plan by 2013. The plan targets to create four new economic sectors to serve as the foundation of the plan, they are; Agriculture productivity sector, managing and salinizing sea water, sustainable energy and a food manufacture industry.
Al Atiyah believes that the benefit of creating new economies rather than projects is that it breeds the right environment for projects to blossom, meaning that Qatar can maintain its desired food security goal of between 60% and 70% for the long term. However, Al Atiyah does not expect the application of the plan to be an easy ride saying that setting up an agricultural productivity sector will be one of the more challenging aspects of the execution of the plan because this sector has to be well-run to satisfy the market needs.
Although the president of QNFSP did not specify the role of this sector, the term ‘Agricultural Productivity’ is used to describe maximizing the cultivating efficiency of a specific piece of land. Despite the fact establishing the rest of the sectors remain fairly challenging, Al Atiyah is optimistic by the fact that the program does not face resistance from self-interest groups. This is something he believes will make it easier to go through with the plans currently proposed.
Al Atiyah believes that Qatar will introduce new technologies that the world will benefit from. He expects that by the time of the plan finishes, Qatar will have already become a technological information hub. This is because Qatar will invest in researching how to improve agricultural of dry land in the South, which differ greatly in geological nature from dry land in the North, Al Atiyah said. Hence Al Atiyah expects Qatar to export these technologies to other countries around the world.
Qatar’s national program for food security was founded in 2008 under the patronage of his HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani to set a long term plan for Qatar’s food security.
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