Posted on February 03, 2018

Qatar will become self-sufficient in dairy products within next six months, said Saleh Jarallah Al Marri, Head of the Veterinary Services Section at the Animals Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.

He said that the self-sufficiency of the country in frozen chicken will reach 100 percent by the end of this year and plans are afoot to increase the self-sufficiency in meat products and eggs at satisfactory level within next two years. Al Marri was speaking with The Peninsula on the sidelines of a festival at Al Mazrouh Farmer’s Market in Umm Salal. The three-day festival kicked-off yesterday at the Market. The festival is offering meat, poultry and dairy products directly from local farms.

“The festival is being held third year in a row,” said Al Marri adding that more exhibitors are participating with large quantity of products this year. “A total of five local farms including Arab Qatari Company for Poultry Products, Ghadeer, Rawa, Dandy and Widam Food Company are showcasing their products in large quantity at the festival,” Abdurrahman Hasan Al Sulaiti Supervisor of the Yards (farmers’ markets) told The Peninsula. Al Sulaiti said that products are being offered at special prices that are lower compared to those available in other places at local market. “The festival aims at promoting local products by introducing it to the visitors of the festival,” said Al Sulati.

Speaking on the self-sufficiency of the country in meat, poultry and dairy products, Saleh Jarallah Al Marri said “we are trying to cover 100 percent need of frozen chicken in local market this year and to increase self-sufficiency of the country in dairy products from existing 82 percent to 100 percent during next six months.” He said that plans are afoot to cover big portion of the need of red meat and eggs during next two years. “Now four dairy farms are operating in the country, licences were given for three new companies, that will take the count of total dairy farms in the country to seven,” said Al Marri.

He said that with opening of three new dairy farms, the local dairy products will cover 100 percent requirements of local market by second quarter of this year. Regarding poultry products, Al Marri said “at present 11 poultry farms are producing in the country. Licences were granted for 12 new projects. A total of 23 poultry farms will be producing soon covering needs of chicken and eggs, achieving self-sufficiency within next six months”. Speaking about new projects, Al Marri said that the Ministry of Municipality and Environment is coordinating in the implementation of the projects of animal production in a bid to achieve self-sufficiency soon adding that the Ministry is also trying to aim for export of milk and poultry products.

Regarding growth in animal production, Al Marri said that a total of 1.45 million animals were recorded in the country in 2017, showing an increase of 15 percent compared to previous year. He said new investors have joined animal breeding business. They have added a total of 16,272 animals to the existing capacity, contributing six percent in the total rise. Al Marri said: “All existing farms are working to complying Qatari specifications to compete the imported products. During recent past, we noticed growing demands for local products by the consumers that reflects the quality of the local products”.

source: The Peninsula