Posted on December 11, 2019

Qatar University (QU) signed recently a memorandum of understanding with Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO) that aims to conduct research in the agricultural field and support the development of the agricultural sector in Qatar to achieve sustainable and reliable production of the required quantity and quality of agricultural products. Furthermore, it aims to share, maintain and expand the knowledge of global best farming practices amongst Qatari stakeholders.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Hassan Al Derham, QU president and Mr. Abdulrahman M. Al-Suwaidi, QAFCO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The ceremony was attended by a number of officials from QU and QAFCO. The MoU agreed on the establishment of an Agricultural Research and Training Center to support the development of the agricultural sector in Qatar to achieve reliable and sustainable production of the required quantity and quality of agricultural products as well as to establish and spread agricultural knowledge and practices among Qatari stakeholders involved in the agricultural production value chain.

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The center will test appropriate nutrient management and fertigation solutions in order to achieve optimal results in local climate conditions with limited access to water. It will recommend fertilizer blends specific to the requirements of the Qatari agriculture sector. In addition, the MoU agreed on the establishment of research grant open to QU Students and faculty for QAFCO on topics determined by QAFCO. The aim of the competition is to support QAFCO’s strategy in creating the knowledge to enable Qatar to become self-sufficient. Furthermore, it will support QU’s Research Strategy in R&D sustainability and reinforcing research culture and innovation in the QU community and provide a supportive research environment.

Dr. Hassan Al-Derham commented on the MoU by stating that the partnership between Qatar University and QAFCO is not new, but a long partnership. He praised the great accomplishments of QAFCO locally and internationally through the years and mentioned how many QU graduates have joined the task forces of QAFCO. Dr. Hassan as well stressed on the importance of this MoU in the context that food security has become a priority to the country and QU wants to activate the role of its farm and develop it into a model farm that benefits researchers and society.

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Mr. Abdulrahman M. Al-Suwaidi said, “QAFCO is proud to partner with the local educational sector as part of its support towards Qatar’s vision of a knowledge-based economy. By signing the cooperation with Qatar University, QAFCO hopes to facilitate the development of a world-class educational system in Qatar, in alignment with the human development pillars of QNV 2030.”

The MoU agreed on other subjects such as a collaborative pilot scale Algae Biomass Production Project utilizing urea for the production of different potential products; the provision of summer training, internship and sponsorship opportunities at QAFCO for QU students based on QAFCO’s requirements and eligibility criteria and other initiatives. 

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