Several months away from its completion, the QR1.6bn Hamad Port Food Security Project is poised to put Qatar on the map as a strong food exporting hub, an official from the Qatar Chamber (QC) said here yesterday.
Talking to the media on the sidelines of a Malaysian business delegation meet, QC First Vice-Chairman Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari said the project will not only address food security in Qatar, but expand its reach to other countries.
He said: “The project is still under construction and it will be completed on time.’’ The project will locally secure food for everyone in Qatar and then will export to different foreign markets. This project will help the region with its growing population as well, Al Kuwari added.
The food security project, which is the first public-private partnership (PPP) launched in Qatar, will further boost PPPs in the country. “This is one of the public-private partnerships in Qatar and we’re looking for similar projects. This project is also profitable for the private sector. They will provide for the government requirements to secure food for Qatar including importing from international partners, prepare for any emergency that may happen, and export at the same time”, he said.
The Hamad Port Food Security Project was launched in 2017 and was set to be completed within 26 months. Spread over a 500,000 square meter land, it will include three main factories, in addition to three factories behind the main processing plants, in addition to silos and reservoirs.
The project consists of specialized facilities for the processing, manufacturing, and refining of rice, raw sugar and edible oils. The products will be available for local, regional, and global use.
The amount of production of the factories is said to be enough for three million people, and the stock allows for two and a half years as a strategic stock in the country, and it can be re-exported abroad.
Over the years, Qatar has been intensifying its efforts to address the issue of food security here. Previously, the country imported 90 percent of its food requirements. However, with government-run initiatives local produce and supplies had been abounding in the market.
Also, Qatar recently ranked first among Arab countries and 22nd overall in the Global Food Security Index 2018, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. The index looks at the impact that natural resources and resilience have on food security.