(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
Doha: The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has affirmed that the State of Qatar is pursuing an ambitious policy to promote local products, adding that the observer of the agricultural development process in Qatar notes the structural changes in the agricultural sector in line with the strategic objectives of the development plans.
In his speech on the occasion of celebrating Arab Agriculture Day, which falls on September 27 and being held this year under the slogan 'Towards Resilient Agriculture and Food Systems Responsive to Changes', Director of Agriculture Affairs Department at MME, Yusuf Khalid Al Khulaifi, said the agricultural sector plans are working to bring about a real change in the agricultural economic structure via diversifying the production.
He said the plans also aimed at increasing local agricultural production with a focus on the optimal use and preservation of natural resources, improving economic and marketing efficiency, and continuing to raise the level of quality of local production of agricultural crops that meet the aspirations of consumers, in a manner that achieves environmental balance, and prepares the agricultural sector to deal flexibly and efficiently with local, regional and international developments.
Al Khulaifi noted that the ministry followed an ambitious policy to advance local production and set goals by supporting farmers and investors in the agricultural sector by providing agricultural advice and guidance, granting loans and support for agricultural and productive inputs of seeds and pesticides, providing farms destined for organic agriculture with its requirements, and providing beehives for free to farm owners.
In addition, the owners of private farms have been supported by finding solutions to the challenges they face, such as heat, high humidity, scarcity and poor water quality, as the Ministry encouraged the transformation of farms from traditional irrigation systems to modern irrigation systems, by concluding an agreement with Qatar Development Bank, to grant farms soft loans to install modern irrigation systems, with an low interest rates of 1.0-1.5 percent only, to be repaid over a period of 8 years. He said MME focused on localising greenhouse technology in Qatari farms, as an effective way to increase the production of vegetables on Qatari farms on the one hand, and reduce water consumption and raise unit productivity on the other, while recent years have witnessed a significant increase in the areas planted with greenhouses, as it rose to 645 hectares from 520 hectares in 2019.
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