This year Qatar witnessed record vegetable yields using hydroponic farming methods. The Agrico opened Hydroponic Trial and Demonstration Centre which achieved a six-time higher yield of tomatoes in Qatar.
Increase in Yield with Hydroponic Farming
Hydroponic Trial and Demonstration Centre declared that high technology and professionalism of agronomists have yielded 33 kg of tomatoes per square meter per year. This is 50% higher than average Qatari farmers could achieve using simple technology. The Agrico, Qafco, and Yara International opened Hydroponic Trial and Demonstration Centre in February 2019.
Hydroponic Trial and Demonstration Centre
The main aim of the center was to develop the best horticulture practice and test local greenhouse technologies. However, the center succeeded in finding a sustainable crop management system in line with the Qatari climate. Further, the hydroponic technique of crop cultivation would save local water resources. Besides, it will prevent the environment from the negative effects of vegetable production.
Vegetable Marketing Programmes by MME
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) launched three different programs to help market agricultural produce of the farmers. As a result, the programs, ‘Winter Vegetable Markets’, ‘Premium Vegetables’ and ‘Qatar Farms’ worked impressively for increasing total vegetable market share. The sale of local vegetables grew by 50% in 2018-19.
Also, the programs will work to provide local produce to customers from the farm, directly. Further according to government report, farmers sold around 20,162 tonnes of local vegetables in 2018-19 as against 11,765 tonnes of vegetables in 2017-18.
Schools in Qatar Teaching Farming
Ministry of Education and Higher Education along with Ministry of Municipality and Environment launched ‘Farm Your Country’ and ‘Khayr Qatarna’ schemes. Hence, several schools are teaching innovative farming methods to students under these schemes.
Further, the institutions are focusing on inculcating a spirit of farming among students so that they make a real connection with food. Besides, several schools are conducting farm-field trips and cooking lessons to aware students of healthy food and farming practices. The Public Parks Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment initiated the ‘Let Us Cultivate’ program to support Kitchen Gardens.
In all, the Qatar government is making efforts to develop sustainable farming practices.