‘Qatar taking steps to ensure food security’

https://m.gulf-times.com/story/655801/Qatar-taking-steps-to-ensure-food-security

QNA/ RomeThursday، 13 February 2020 01:30 AM

Qatar is participating in the meetings of the 43rd session of the annual Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), held under the theme “Investing in sustainable food systems to end hunger by 2030”, at the headquarters of the Council in Rome.
Qatar’s ambassador to Italy and IFAD’s Governor Abdulaziz bin Ahmed al-Maliki is heading Qatar’s delegation to the meetings which are on till February 14.
Delivering a speech at the opening session of the council’s meetings, al-Maliki stressed that Qatar has established specialised companies for food, livestock and fish production and has presented numerous agricultural investment projects to private sector investors, in addition to a number of other strategic projects for the production of vegetables using greenhouses, new projects for the production of fodder, and fish farming projects in floating cages. 
The ambassador underlined that Qatar is taking these measures, projects and programmes consistent with its determination to achieve self-sufficiency in food, secure food supplies and ensure its security. 
The country also uses renewable energies to apply best practices for the development of the agricultural sector, better use of limited natural resources, preservation of the environment and stabilisation of agro-food products’ markets, development of investment mechanisms in the agricultural sector and the provision of guarantees for the private sector to invest in this field, he pointed out.
Al-Malki clarified that Qatar has appealed from all international platforms to confront the severe challenges caused by climate change and its impact on the shortage and scarcity of water resources, which negatively affected agro-food production, livestock and fisheries.
He also stressed that climate changes caused drought, desertification and degradation of agricultural lands in many countries, adding that this could put many people at the risk of under-nutrition and poverty.
Al-Maliki said that Qatar’s strategy is aimed at achieving its food security and its national programmes have placed it in the first position among Arab countries and 13th globally according to the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) data, which is introduced by The Economist magazine.
He affirmed that Qatar has already managed to overcome all threats, challenges and negative impacts of the unjust blockade imposed on it by some countries, of which regional food security was one.
Al-Malki explained that the challenges facing the agro-food production and sustainable management of natural resources are multifaceted, indicating that agriculture is closely and directly related to the nature that today has become subject to fluctuations without limits.
He pointed out that, despite the abundance of natural resources and human and economic capabilities in many geographical regions, there are still other regions that suffer from protracted food crises of various sources, including the Middle East, the Near East and North Africa region.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.