Qatar is taking proactive measures to enhance their food security and making it transparent to their citizens and the world. Qatar stands to provide leadership and expertise to other dry land countries that have food supply risk. Many Middle Eastern countries are beginning to experience the effects of climate change on their food production as long periods of droughts are interspersed with floods that ruin crops.
In light of these trends, Qatar launched its Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) in 2008 with the hope that a dedicated government program would be able to come up with new solutions to expand agricultural productivity.
Qatar has seen a 30 percent reduction in local food production. This has prompted an increase in food imports (topping over 90 percent now), placing Qatar in a dangerous situation if global food supplies get disrupted or agricultural commodity prices go up. To reverse this trend and insulate Qatar from these issues, QNFSP has several recommendations to implement in its National Plan for food security which include:
•Renewable energy development- placing an emphasis on alternative energy infrastructure and more energy efficient systems.
•Desalination and water management- investing in new technologies that manage dwindling water supplies
•“Best practices” in agriculture- placing an emphasis on efficient farming methods and research into new agricultural policies including land use planning and agricultural zoning.
•Development of “Agro-Industrial Park”- a food processing industry to compete on the international market and increase the shelf life of existing food supplies.
More about the QNFSP can be read here.