CAN OR­GANIC FARM­ING BE THE SO­LU­TION FOR FOOD SE­CU­RITY?

Qatar Today - - AFFAIRS > FOOD SECURITY - BY IZDIHAR ALI

FROM TIME TO TIME, THE DE­BATE ON FOOD SE­CU­RITY IN QATAR, WHOSE HARSH CLI­MATIC CON­DI­TIONS ARE NOT MUCH DIF­FER­ENT FROM THOSE OF THE OTHER GCC COUN­TRIES, IS RE­NEWED. IN 2008, QATAR LAUNCHED THE NA­TIONAL FOOD SE­CU­RITY PRO­GRAM (QNFSP) TO MEET 100% OF THE COUN­TRY'S FOOD RE­QUIRE­MENTS BY 2030. ONE OF THE WAYS TO ACHIEVE THIS STRAT­EGY IS THROUGH THE USE OF OR­GANIC FARM­ING TECH­NOL­OGY BE­CAUSE OF ITS ECO­NOMIC FEA­SI­BIL­ITY, AC­CORD­ING TO SOME EX­PERTS.

Eight months of se­vere heat, two short months of win­ter and two months of pleas­ant en­joy­able weather. That is the sum­mary of the cli­matic con­di­tion of Qatar. When Qatar launched the Na­tional Food Se­cu­rity Pro­gram, it was not given much fo­cus; af­ter all it is quite im­pos­si­ble to make an agri­cul­tural project thrive in a desert land. But a few years later we hear news about the emer­gence of Qatar-based farms and then the an­nounce­ment that the num­ber of or­ganic farms in Qatar will in­crease to six in the com­ing pe­riod in line with the min­istry's goals of ex­pand­ing or­ganic farm­ing be­cause of its pos­i­tive im­pact on hu­man­ity, an­i­mals and the en­vi­ron­ment. This was an­nounced on the side­lines of a fes­ti­val of Qatari or­ganic prod­ucts held at Al Mazrouah Yard a few months back by Yousef Al Khu­laifi, di­rec­tor of the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­tural Af­fairs. Al Khu­laifi says, “Though the project is still in its ini­tial phase, two or­ganic farms,

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