Qatar is aiming to reach self-sufficiency in the production of vegetables in the next five years, HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi has said, Qatar News Agency reported.
The plan, according to the minister, would be implemented in co-operation with farm owners and the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC).
Al-Rumaihi announced the plan on the sidelines of the launching of a programme for marketing “excellent” Qatari vegetables (‘Excellent Products’) at the Al Meera Consumer Complex in Hyatt Plaza.
He said Qatari produce provides the local market in some season with up to 80% of its needs. He also highlighted the ministry’s plans of fixing that percentage in all seasons, before raising it gradually to complete self-sufficiency by 2022.
The minister said the government is committed in supporting farms and helping them grow. He noted that investors who have growth plans will be backed by the ministry, which already provides support to producers whether technical or by providing insecticides, as well as water and electricity.
Al-Rumaihi added that he looks forward to hearing suggestions from producers and whether they are facing any challenges where the ministry can intervene and solve.
He lauded the growth that local produce has seen recently in terms of quality and demand ever since it was introduced to supermarkets and hypermarkets. He also praised local producers for their effort in supplying the local market with organic vegetables.
Al-Rumaihi noted that their examination showed that the quality of the products were at par with the international standards. He also praised Al Meera for its role in supporting producers and providing an outlet to their products.
The minister expressed optimism that local products can grow significantly and cover a bigger market next year. He acknowledged that the supply of products was limited, but remained confident that encouraging investment in the field will help achieve the goal of self-sufficiency.
The marketing campaign for Qatari produce is taking place in co-operation with Al Meera. A total of 19 farmers are taking part this year. The initiative is part of the ministry’s commitment to improving the quality of local products and increasing demand for it.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment co-operated with the MEC and the Consumer Protection Department in placing a number of conditions for marketing Qatari vegetables in hypermarkets. One of those conditions is that the products carry a logo specifically-made for “distinguished Qatari products.”