Qatar National Food Security Program
The Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) seeks to implement a national strategy for securing 70% of the country's food needs by 2013. The Programme is working on activating the four main sectors as below:
- Renewable energy.
- Food Manufacturing.
Expanding the agricultural sector requires the introduction of "best practices" and a farming business model that focuses on economic efficiency, optimal use of scarce resources, minimum impact on the environment and profitable and sustainable agriculture.
There is a main strategy to use crop production technologies using water efficiently, such as production that is environmentally protected and controlled (greenhouses), and hydroponics (growing plants without soil), as well as advanced irrigation systems.
The agriculture sector will also need a plan to stabilize the market. The plan includes inputs, financial support and mechanism to subsidize prices.
Desalination is the answer to how Qatar will secure water for agriculture. Although the desalinationthe option is among the expensive options, ground-water extraction has to be discontinued and the aquifers need to be provided with desalinated water. This strategy will allow ground-water aquifers to act as strategic reservoirs working on enhancing the process of securing water in the State of Qatar.
In addition, the QNFSP will take the necessary measures to optimize its irrigation and agricultural operations, as well as promote better national water management.
The dependence on fossil fuels has a negative impact on food security because fluctuating energy prices affect all levels of food production, transportation and distribution. One approach to cutting costs is using renewable energy.
Some projects related to solar energy and wind power alike are being developed. There is excellent coordination among all sectors to facilitate the integration process among all energy sources.
Processed foods have a longer shelf life than raw foods; therefore reducing wastage and enhancing storage potential.
The QNFSP plans to build an Agro-Industrial Park as a designated area for Qatar's food processing industry. The park will take full advantage of infrastructure to expand the transport and export of goods internationally.
With the establishment of Qatar's Agro-Industrial Park, it will be necessary to expand storage facilities to ensure the constant supply of raw materials, such as wheat, rice, sugar, oil, milk and others.
In 2011, the State of Qatar signed an agreement with the US Agency for International Development to enhance cooperation in global food security. The pact allows the two countries to:
- Solidify joint research and scientific exchange.
- Share access to funding.
- Develop public-private partnerships.
- Engage in technical and policy dialogues.