Qatar set to reap benefits from several agricultural research projects this year (official)

The Ministry of Municipality is ready to reap the fruits of several agricultural research projects the ministry has been implementing for the past four years, an official said.
Hamad Saket al-Shammari, director of the agricultural research department at the ministry, told local Arab daily Arrayah that the ministry would start receiving results from the projects this year. The projects, he said, include programs to improve date production as well as increase fodder production. The ministry also has a project to increase the sustainable productivity of the crops on the list.
“All indicators point to the success of this research, which was conducted in cooperation with many local and international agencies, in a way that improves plans to achieve food security. The date production development project will help extend the season to at least four months. In addition, we have a project to develop palm irrigation methods in order to reduce the percentage of water wastage and achieve a balance by providing the plants with what they really need in addition to facilitating pollination,” al-Shammari explained.
The project to increase sustainable vegetable productivity will also help extend the growing season for tomatoes in the country by one month, and similar research is also being carried out for cucumbers.
The official noted that the administration has published four scientific articles in a number of international scientific journals, while several brochures and leaflets have also been published for distribution to the public. The brochures were distributed to farm owners and those interested in agricultural business.
Al-Shammari noted that the completion rate of the date development project was 81% till the end of December and several experiments were conducted under it. He said the ministry has introduced modern palm varieties with the aim of extending the fruiting period. This is done by producing types that are produced before and after the usual production season, which extends the season to at least four months.
The project to increase sustainable vegetable productivity is 85% complete. “We introduced 239 tomato varieties and conducted research on them to choose the best ones that can withstand Qatar’s weather conditions. And these varieties will also work to choose what can flower at a temperature of 27C. This will extend the tomato planting season to April instead of March from now on,” he added.

Lana T. Arthur