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Desert farming: learning how to grow crops in a severe climate

Qatar's harsh environment, reliance on imports, and blockades by land, air, and sea have seen its people look toward new technologies in order to achieve better food security. Through expansion in vegetables grown using hydroponics, local production has increased from 66,000 tons to more than 103,000 tons last year alone.

Heenat Salma farm is just one of the initiatives hoping to optimize environmental technologies to enable restorative growth in desert areas. It is the first of its kind to experiment with organic farming in the country and is based deep in the desert among the communities of Shahaniya.

The farm's proprietor, Fahad Al Attiya, explained: "We cannot go on as we are. It simply is not sustainable. The population in Qatar has grown from 11,000 in 1941 to around 3 million today, and we need to think differently. Reclaiming and cultivating desert or degraded land to grow food has the potential to secure the needs of a growing population."

"Our farm team, through Caravane Earth Foundation, is addressing the global need for ethical approaches to local agricultural initiatives, driven by the purpose to heal the land and live in synchronization with the seasons."

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