Qatari products managed to fiercely compete with products imported from around the world in the local market at a time when the Qatar is working to achieve self-sufficiency in food.
Although Qatari products have been available in the market for years, the siege imposed on Qatar has highlighted the importance shoring up local production.
Since the beginning of the siege of Qatar on June 5, the production capacity of materials manufactured in Qatar has increased many folds to meet the needs of the market.
In the early days of the crisis, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce launched an initiative to support local products in cooperation with major shopping malls by coordinating with them to display the products clearly and placing a special logo on local goods.
The Ministry urged all restaurants and cafeterias in Qatar to use local products in order to support these initiatives.
To encourage local production, Minister of Municipality and Environment H E Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi stated in a statement earlier that two agricultural production complexes for livestock, poultry, fish and feed production will be opened with the support of Qatar Development Bank (QDB).
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Assistant Undersecretary for Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser Al-Thani said that new livestock production projects in Qatar include Baladna livestock farm, which targets 40 percent share in dairy products' market in the country.
He also said that local dairy brands like Ghadeer, Maha and Dandy are increasing their production according to a plan that is likely to make the country self-sufficient after six months.
In the red meat sector, Qatar is witnessing a 20 percent increase annually in the number of animals. He noted that the total number of these animals in the country is 1.35 million, 70 percent of them sheep.
In the field of poultry production, the Arab poultry company is expanding its poultry production by 100 percent to about 20 million chickens a year instead of the current 10 million a year. With this increase in pace of production, it is expected to that the country will be 100 percent self-sufficient in fresh poultry in less than a year.
There are also some strategic projects launched by the private sector recently, including one where they are planning to produce 40 million chickens annually.
For egg production, Sheikh Dr Faleh told QNA that as part of the efforts to expand the Arab Qatari company for poultry production to increase its products by 100%, and thus increase the production of eggs from 60 million eggs to 100 million eggs per year, bringing the total number, after the completion of expansion within the next six months, to about 120 million eggs per year.
Qatar has already achieved self-sufficiency in fishery sector, which has now reached 89 per cent. It is pursuing a short-term plan to increase this percentage to 100% in a year. The State has 3 fish farming projects and their combined production is about 6 thousand tonnes per year.
There is also a shrimp project with a production capacity of 1,000 tonnes per year, which is enough for the country to export abroad.
The QDB organized a 'Buy Local Products' forum on July 11, which brought together 70 Qatari companies from five key sectors along with 250 local buyers to encourage small and medium enterprises to expand their local business in sectors such as steel and iron, plastics, wood, aluminum and copper, and general building materials.
Following the success, QDB organized a second edition of the "Buy Local Products" exhibition on July 25, with the participation of more than 150 companies as well as an even wider range of products on showcase.
On the sidelines of the forum, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between QDB and Public Works Authority (Ashghal) to launch the 'Ta'heel' initiative for SME. The new approach gives the factories an opportunity to participate in the implementation of Ashghal's programmes and projects, through enlistment of Qatari manufacturers in the authority's approved supply chain, in addition to accrediting local industrial products that meet the technical requirements, specifications, and the standard quality levels.
In order to support the local market demand for fresh produce, Hassad Food, Qatar's premier investor in food and agri-business sectors, announced the launch of its new initiative ‘IKTEFA', which targets unproductive local farms, which represents more than 80 percent of registered local farms. Through IKTEFA, Hassad Food will purchase farmer's yearly production of fresh vegetables and fruits and then will sell them in the local market.
This move comes with the aim of increasing the role of local farms and efficiently utilizing its commercial operations, in order to support the local market demand for fresh produce.
"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 June," Hassad Food CEO Mohamed Al Sadah said.
As part of this initiative, Hassad will provide several services for the participating local farms including support in developing feasibility studies for the farms seeking financial support from concerned entities to build green houses, supply of agricultural inputs (delayed payment for a period not more than 90 days,) technical supervision for the farms, purchase of the farms yearly production from fresh produce under clear commercial terms agreed by both parties in addition to logistical support and other services.
Moreover, the company announced that the targeted capacity for the first phase is around 60 hectares, which produces yearly around 5000 tons of fresh produce, this figure will increase gradually over the next phases.
Hassad also announced that an internal committee has been formed to review and assess all submitted participation requests, and then select the local farms that comply with the needed specifications.
The Peninsula Qatar