Qatar is expected to achieve 100 percent self-sufficiency in terms of the production of most popular fruits and vegetables about in a year as the country’s largest greenhouse facility is likely to be operational by next year.
A consortium of Qatari and Spanish companies — AgroQatar — has been working on war footing to develop a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility fully equipped with cutting-edge technology to produce almost all kinds of fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Initially, the facility will be spread across 100 hectares (about 250 acres) of land with an initial investment of about €100m (QR430m).
“I just discussed with the Minister of Municipality and Environment H E Mohamed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi on the final touches of a very important project for developing a huge greenhouse in Qatar,” Ambassador of Spain to Doha, Ignacio Escobar, told The Peninsula on the sidelines of an event.
Ambassador Escobar added: “A Spanish company has set up a good deal, and we are waiting for the final details of the contract to be signed in next few weeks. The greenhouse will be equipped with modern technology that will allow growing almost all kinds of fruits, including strawberries and cranberries at affordable prices throughout the year.”
The Spanish envoy said that the companies involved in the project are the finest in Spain dealing with greenhouse facilities in Almeria the south-eastern province of the country, which has weather conditions similar to Qatar. The technology is so cost-effective that it will enable Qatar to grow fruits and vegetables even for exports purposes.
Qatar has been providing due importance to achieve self-sufficiency in terms of essential food supplies, and the efforts have been accelerated especially after the imposition of the unjust blockade in early June last year.
Commenting on the bilateral cooperation in other areas Escobar said that trade exchange between the two countries has been increasing sharply registering an annual growth of about 40 percent, which is expected to grow more as cooperation is expanding.
More and more Qatari companies are now going to Spain and importing the goods directly without the involvement of middlemen or a third party, which is not only saving a lot of money to traders but getting better deals, both in terms of price and quality of goods. And in the upcoming exhibitions, more Spanish companies are looking forward to participating, which will help expand the areas of bilateral cooperation.
Currently, foodstuff, building materials, and other items related to the construction industry are major items of Spanish exports to Qatar. In addition, Spanish companies are involved in almost all kinds of projects in Qatar including sport, construction, hospitality, healthcare, and other sectors.