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National Food Security Program

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The National Food Security Program (QNFSP) provides the national strategy for meeting 70% of the country’s food requirements by 2013. The four key sectors in play are:

  • Agriculture
  • Water
  • Renewable energy
  • Food Manufacturing

Agriculture

Expanding the agricultural sector will require the introduction of “best practices” and a farming business model that stresses economic efficiency, optimal use of scarce resources, minimum impact on the environment and profitable and sustainable agriculture.

Technology will play an important role in saving water. Greenhouses, hydroponics (growing plants without soil) and advanced irrigation systems are all viable solutions.

Subsidies and a price support mechanism will also be in place to help stabilize and protect the market.

Water

Desalination is the answer to how Qatar will secure water for agriculture. Although the process is expensive, ground-water extraction has to be discontinued and the aquifers need to be recharged with desalinated water. This will allow ground-water aquifers to act as reservoirs.

In addition, the QNFSP will take the necessary measures to optimize its irrigation and agricultural operations, as well as promote better national water management.

Renewable Energy

The dependence on fossil fuels has a negative impact on food security because fluctuating energy prices affect all levels of food production, transportation and distribution. One approach to cutting costs is using renewable energy.

Solar energy and wind power are both projects under development, while the adoption of a smart grid to facilitate the integration of all electricity sources is also under consideration.

Food Manufacturing

Processed foods have a longer shelf life than raw foods; therefore reducing wastage and enhancing storage potential.

The QNFSP plans to build an Agro-Industrial Park as a designated area for Qatar's food processing industry. The park will take full advantage of the country’s expanding transport infrastructure to export goods internationally.

With the establishment of Qatar's Agro-Industrial Park, it will be necessary to expand storage facilities to ensure the constant supply of raw materials, such as wheat, rice, sugar, oil, milk and barley.

US Cooperation

In 2011, Qatar signed an agreement with the US Agency for International Development to enhance cooperation in global food security. The pact allows the two countries to:

  • Solidify joint research and scientific exchange.
  • Share access to funding.
  • Develop public-private partnerships.
  • Engage in technical and policy dialogues.

 



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