Qatar will soon issue a tender to manage the facilities for the QR1.6bn Hamad Port Food Security Project, which is already nearing its completion, Qatar Chamber (QC) Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani revealed yesterday.
The Hamad Port Food Security Project, which is expected to be fully operational within a year, consists of strategic storage facilities, silos, reservoirs, and specialized facilities for the processing, manufacturing, and refining of rice, raw sugar, and edible oils.
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.
The public-private partnership (PPP) project, also known as Qatar’s flagship food sustainability program, has previously partnered with leading food industry companies from Switzerland, Germany, and Italy for the construction of these facilities.
The new tender will be awarded to companies which will manage the facilities in cooperation with the main foreign company partners.
Sheikh Khalifa said: “The strategic storage facility for grain products will be moved from Doha Port to the Hamad Port, and it is already managed by a local company. So a tender will be launched soon for the private sector and international companies to manage the facilities for the rice, sugar, and oil products which are the basic commodities. There are also plans in the future to go downstream in food manufacturing, and other plans to create animal feed and food stocks,” he added while talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of a seminar on ‘Qatari Private Sector Role in Strategic Storage’ which was organized by Qatar Chamber.
During the event, Sheikh Khalifa reiterated that strategic storage projects such as the food security storage facility at Hamad Port, promote Qatar as an important hub for logistics projects and a model for achieving food security strategy.
The seminar also highlighted the Law No 24 of 2019 concerning organizing and control of strategic storage of food and consumption goods.
Mohamed bin Ahmed Al Obaidli, QC Board of Director and Chair of Food Security and Environment Committee, said that discussions are ongoing to regulate the private sector, particularly companies related to food and storage, in establishing storage facilities for the 22 identified food and non-food items to last for at least six months.
“We’re also discussing how we can diversify even our importation. Even if we have our alliances, we’re not going to go for one country to supply one of the full items. We’re only going to import a maximum of 30 percent of the item from one country. Strategic storage is one of the four pillars of Qatar’s National Food Security Strategy. And the strategy will help in reducing the prices of commodities,” he added.
Director of Food Security Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Secretary of the National Committee for Food Security Masoud Jarallah Al Marri added that Qatar’s food security strategy is based on four pillars, which include boosting local production, strategic storage, international trade, and the local market.
Assistant Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs and Head of the Strategic Storage Team Sheikh Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani added that an electronic system has already been launched to manage the strategic storage and identify the abundance of goods in the private sector. QC First Vice-Chairman Mohamed bin Towar Al Kuwari also reiterated that the food security program is one of the most important PPP projects in Qatar.