The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) affirmed that Qatar pursues an ambitious policy of promoting local agricultural products, adding that structural changes in the agricultural sector are in line with the strategic objectives of the development plans. In a speech to mark Arab Agriculture Day, which falls on September 27 each year and is held this year under the slogan “Towards resilient and responsive to change agriculture and food systems,” the director of the Department of Business agriculturalists, Yusuf Khalid al-Khulaifi, said that plans are underway to bring about a real change in the agricultural economic structure by diversifying the local production base with emphasis on the optimal use and preservation of natural resources, by improving economic and commercial efficiency, and by continuing to improve the quality of local crops in a way that achieves environmental balance and prepares the sector to respond flexibly and effectively to local, regional and international developments.
Al-Khulaifi said the ministry has followed an ambitious policy to advance local production and has set itself goals by supporting farmers and investors in the agricultural sector by providing advice and guidance, providing loans and support for productive inputs of seeds and pesticides, providing farms for organic farming. agriculture and the free provision of beehives to farm owners.
In addition, owners of private farms have been supported in finding solutions to the challenges they face, such as heat, high humidity, scarcity and poor quality of water, as the ministry has encouraged the transformation. from farms from traditional irrigation systems to modern systems, providing farms with low-interest loans from the Qatar Development Bank, with interest of only 1-1.5%, repayable over eight years.
Al-Khulaifi added that the ministry has focused on locating greenhouse technology in Qatari farms as an effective way to increase vegetable production in Qatari farms on the one hand, and reduce the consumption of water and increase unit productivity on the other hand, while in recent years there has been a significant increase in the areas planted in greenhouses, since they were 520 hectares in 2019 and became 645 hectares, an increase of 125 hectares. hectares, estimated at 24%.
Al-Khulaifi added that in order to protect the country’s agricultural production from the risk of pests and diseases, the Department of Agricultural Affairs subjects all plants, agricultural products and other materials to phytosanitary regulations and agricultural quarantine procedures. , noting that this great development in the sector arose out of Qatar’s keen interest in expanding production and encouraging local producers, which has contributed to the achievement of sustainable development for the sector.
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