(MENAFN- Gulf Times) The alliance of Spanish agribusiness companies, AgroQatar, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gulf Petroleum for the development of a system of high-tech greenhouse production of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The MoU aims to improve the self-sufficiency of Qatar in fresh food supply, according to the directives of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Spanish embassy said in a statement.
Gulf Petroleum president Abdul Aziz Hamad al-Dulaimi and AgroQatar general manager and chief operating officer Juan Carlos Santiago signed the MoU in the presence of Spanish ambassador
AgroQatar enjoys the support of the Spanish Export Promotion Authority (ICEX), including the possibility to finance its projects in Qatar, the embassy said.
According to the embassy, Gulf Petroleum was recently awarded by the Qatari government the right to develop 100 hectares of greenhouse facilities, in the framework of the tender launched by the Technical Committee for the Promotion of Private Sector Engagement in Economic Development Projects, in coordination with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
The MoU allows Gulf Petroleum to supply the Qatari market with high-quality, fresh vegetables and fruits 'at competitive prices all year round. The production will be carried out by maintaining the principles of rational use of natural resources, responsible management of water resources, and overall environmental sustainability, the embassy said.
It added: 'The objective is trifold: to contribute to the growth of the agricultural economy in the state of Qatar and guaranteeing its self-sufficiency, to increase the participation of the non-hydrocarbon sector in the national economy and, finally, to develop the private sector.
'With this MoU, AgroQatar commits to providing to Gulf Petroleum with the possibility of designing and implementing the entire process, including planning, financing, design, manufacturing, construction, project management, technical assistance, training, supplies and maintenance, operation of the facilities, distribution and
marketing of the product.
The embassy said AgroQatar was created specifically to facilitate the development of agribusiness adapted to the climatic conditions of Qatar, and was the result of a joint effort of world leading agribusiness companies, covering the entire agricultural business process, from production to distribution.
'The companies comprising this alliance were selected because of their excellence, experience and capacity, with more than 60 years' experience supplying state-of-the-art applied technology for high-performance agriculture
'The Spanish solution is the most advanced, efficient, and adapted integrated system able to produce throughout the year a variety of crops with the highest quality and in the most sustainable and cost-efficient way in Qatar. The turnover of the group exceeds $1bn and its companies are collaborating in five continents with more than 150 countries, the embassy said.
Juan Carlos Santiago and Abdul Aziz Hamad al-Dulaimi sign the MoU as Spanish ambassador Ignacio Escobar, Khaled al-Delaimi, and trade attaché Miguel Angel Fajardo look on.
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