Agriculture sector poised to further expand: entrepreneur
February 03 2020 09:49 PM
Nasser Ahmed al-Khalaf, managing director, Agrico.
Nasser Ahmed al-Khalaf, managing director, Agrico.

More people are keen to invest in Qatar’s booming agriculture sector as it has witnessed significant gains annually and poised to further expand in the years to come, according to prominent Qatari agriculturist Nasser Ahmed al-Khalaf.

“The agriculture sector is still booming in Qatar and I see more people are interested to invest in this sector,” he said.

Al-Khalaf, managing director of Qatari company Agrico, has been encouraging compatriot entrepreneurs to invest in agriculture, especially in hydroponics.

Through a research and development (R&D) facility established by Agrico, Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco) and Yara International ASA (Norway), he said they foresee an increase in yield and cultivated areas in the country.

The three companies collaborated and signed an agreement in 2018 to put up a facility in Qatar to test greenhouse technologies, nutrient management and fertigation solutions aimed at increasing the local vegetable production.

“The result of the R&D will be issued soon,” said al-Khalaf, who previously noted that the development of local farms in Qatar is also unlocking their full potential that would further increase yields and meet the growing demand for fresh produce.

This R&D aims to support His Highness the Amir’s vision of achieving food security for the country.

“Agrico, in the past four years, has played a significant role in supporting those investors. In 2019, the company developed three different farms with a cultivated area of 150,000sqm, fully operational today,” said al-Khalaf, adding that these farms alone will increase local production by 5mn kg this year.

With an estimated local vegetable consumption of 200mn kg, he noted that this figure (the increase in local production) remains small but marks “a very good progress” for the sector.

He added that Qatar's annual local vegetable production is at 40mn kg.

“We have proven in the past years that not only can we grow in Qatar but we also made the agriculture business profitable (with Mahaseel marketing company) both locally and regionally as well,” al-Khalaf stressed.

He said the Agrico farm in Al Khor and the other farms it developed using state-of-the-art technology are now producing the year round, even during the summer season, which contributes to Qatar’s vegetable consumption needs.

Agrico, a private Qatari agricultural development company established in 2011, produces organic vegetables and fruits the year round in Al Khor. It expanded its high-tech and locally developed greenhouse to other farms in the country under its management.

Last updated: February 03 2020 10:06 PM

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