Qatar is expecting to be self-sufficient in the dairy sector by June next year as it has fast embarked on strengthening food security as part of efforts to counter the economic blockade, according to HE the Minister of Finance Ali Sherif al-Emadi.
Before the imposition of the Gulf economic blockade instigated by some of Doha’s neighbours, Qatar was importing almost 90% of the dairy products from the siege countries. With the siege coming into effect from June 5, Doha upped its ante by strategising to enhance production domestically and also forging ties with other countries.
“In the past, our policy was to avoid competition with other nations in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), which created some challenges with food security and the import of medicines, among other areas. In the future, our policies will differ,” he said.
Highlighting that before June 5, Qatar’s local dairy production accounted for 8%-9% of the local demand, but six months into the blockade, it rose to more than 40%; al-Emadi said the country has certain strategic projects to be accomplished. Dairy products and food security are going to be top on the priority list.
“By June 2018, we will be 100% self-sufficient,” he said, adding these projects are being monitored by the HE the Prime Minister on a daily basis.
Qatar Airways Cargo had recently said it transported two shipments of 230 Holstein cows from Europe as part of a wider 14,000-head herd that the dairy farming entity Baladna is coming up with.
The finance minister also said Doha was looking at poultry farming, and that work on the project had started last week.[GulfTimes]