QATAR STEPS UP EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE FOOD SECURITY

In another step towards achieving food security and self-reliance, Qatar’s Hassad Food launched an initiative, to help local farmers boost their production amid the ongoing Gulf crisis.

The initiative called IKTEFA’ targets unproductive local farms, which make up more than 80 percent of the registered farms, to boost their productivity.

Hassad Food, Qatar’s premier investor in food and agribusiness, will support local farmers by buying their produce of fresh vegetables and fruits, as per clear commercial terms, and then sell them in the local market.

This move aims to increase the role of local farms to meet the local market demand for fresh produce.

Hassad Food CEO, Mohamed al Sadah said, “It’s our pleasure to be launching IKTEFA’. We hope to build bridges of cooperation with local farmers through this initiative. Hassad Food will provide all needed support and services to the participating local farmers, in order to produce high-quality products.” Hassad will provide several services to the participating local farms.

The services include support in developing feasibility studies for the farms seeking financial support from entities to build green houses, supply of agricultural inputs (delayed payment for a period not exceeding 90 days), technical supervision for the farms, purchase of the farms’ yearly produce, under clear commercial terms agreed by both parties, besides logistical support and other services.

The company announced that the targeted capacity for the first phase is around 60 hectares, which will produce yearly around 5,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables and fruits, and it will increase gradually. It also announced that an internal committee has been formed to review and assess all participation requests, then select the local farms that meet the specified requirements.

The range of high-quality products provided by Hassad include dairy products, table eggs, poultry, fresh vegetables and fruits, from more than 10 countries, including Turkey, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Oman and Lebanon.

“We coordinated with a number of corporations in friendly countries, to provide the local market with a steady supply of high-quality strategic products, in a cost effective manner,” he said.

“Our first shipment arrived in Qatar on Jun 6. Since then, we are supplying the market with daily shipments that are in line with the market need,” Sadah said.

“Through our partnership with Widam Food, Hassad Australia will provide the local market with more than 340,000 head of Australian sheep (chilled carcasses) over the course of three months, started in Jun,” he added

Source: NAM News Network