Qatar can improve food security with use of technologies: Aussie expert
November 20 2018 10:11 PM
Dalene Wray, left, being introduced at the roundtable by Australian ambassador Axel Wabenhorst. PICT
Dalene Wray, left, being introduced at the roundtable by Australian ambassador Axel Wabenhorst. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam

Qatar can overcome its numerous challenges in achieving adequate food security if proper and appropriate technologies and applications are put in place to suit local requirements, said Dalene Wray, a leader in the Australian agricultural industry.

She was leading deliberations at a round table on “Food security for Qatar” at the Australian embassy on Tuesday. Besides senior agricultural officials from Qatar's Ministry of Municipality and Environment, representatives from Hassad Foods, Qatar University and Centre for Sustainable Development were among others who attended the session, hosted by Australian ambassador Axel Wabenhorst.

While pledging Australia's support to Qatar's food security plans, Wray said her country's achievements in food production notwithstanding its similar weather conditions as in Qatar should serve as a useful lesson to all those working for this country attaining adequate food security in the coming years.

"We have many places where climatic conditions are similar to Qatar. However, there has been reasonably good agricultural yield per hectare in even those places which are generally referred to as arid zones," she said while making an appeal to the local officials to experiment with technologies, techniques and applications used in places having similar climatic and soil conditions as in Qatar.

The annual rainfall in such regions of Australia is in the region of 150mm to 200mm, she said.

Wray said the food requirements of the rest of the world are wholly different from that of the Middle Eastern countries and it is necessary that each region use technologies that would suit its requirements.

The Australian expert said food producers across the world are also encountering so many issues like those states that are importing foodstuffs. “Allowing access to food is the prerogative of the importing countries and if they decide to stop imports from a particular country, citing a reason or the other, the producer needs to work round-the-clock to find a new importer to buy their excess production.”

Wray, who has worked in the organic food industry for more than a decade, is the managing director of a top-level Australian supplier of organic beef. She is also serving as an advisory group member for the Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Programme.

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