For many years, organic products were imported into Qatar, mainly because the country’s land was thought to be infertile. These imports were sold at exorbitant prices. Now, since the blockade imposed on Qatar’s neighbours -Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt– starting on 5 June 2017, the flow of a large number of products that Qatar relied on heavily from these countries has stopped.
Two years on from the start of the blockade against Qatar, the country is on its way to becoming self-sufficient in dairy and fresh produce. Organic farming has been growing, to provide those that live in Qatar fresh locally produced foods that are readily available in the market at relatively low prices. As a result, local food products are becoming increasingly popular nowadays.
Until quite recently, it was thought that Qatar’s environment was not at all favourable for plantation and organic farming due to its harsh temperature during the summer months, desalinated chlorine water, poor annual rainfall and arid soil.
Qatar’s government has been working hard to overcome the challenges that come with making the country’s environment conducive for farming by using sustainable, high-efficiency production techniques and practical agricultural methods that are best-suited for the harsh Qatari climate, especially since organic farming uses 30% less energy and less water than conventional farming, as well as yielding healthier produce and not contributing to groundwater pollution.