Doha: Qatar's first water saving greenhouse pilot project was officially launched today at one of the greenhouses of Hassad in Al Shahaniya.
The climate in the greenhouse is provided by the air conditioning system and completely independent of the outside weather. The closed cycle of air recirculation allows recovery of water from evapotranspiration of the plants through dehumidification. Recovered water then will be re-used for irrigation of the plants.
The launch ceremony was attended by HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Torbjorn Roe Isaksen, Norway's Minister of Trade and Industry, the Chief Executive Officers of Hassad and Yara along with other Norwegian and Qatari officials.
The pilot project was engineered by Yara International ASA (Norway) and developed in collaboration with Hassad Food, Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO), Wageningen University and executed in partnership with Trane Qatar, Jiffy, Hoogendoorn and MST Holland.
"When we implement an innovative water saving system and apply the tailored fertilizer recipes in the pilot greenhouse, we will be able to increase production by 20 times the average in Qatar and reduce the water consumption by 90 percent, which will certainly contribute to local agricultural development," Hassad Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Badr Al Sadah said.
QAFCO Chief Executive Officer Abdulrahman Al-Suwaidi added that "QAFCO is proud to support such initiatives in line with Qatar's Food Security objective".
"Such goals will be achieved by employing state of the art crop nutrition and climate management systems that enable precise control of nutrients and greenhouse environment and therefore provide the ideal growth conditions for the crop,” Head of Yara Middle East Ivan De Witte said.
As part of the opening ceremony, Norwegian and Qatari officials as well as business representatives planted seedlings of tomatoes in the greenhouse.
The visit to the greenhouse was part of the Norwegian officials’ visit to Qatar to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Qatar Fertiliser Company.