Qatar Chamber (QC) has recommended easy procurement steps for Qatari farmers applying for agriculture loans. Similarly, the chamber also recommended that farms should be given subsidised electricity supply, especially during the harvest season.
The recommendations were part of the chamber’s Committee for Agriculture and Environment Affairs’ meeting, which discussed ways to boost local production of food and improve the quality of farm products.
The meeting was presided by QC member and head of the committee, Mohamed Ahmed al-Obaidly. He was joined by Khalifa bin Ali al-Ansari, head of the farms sector at the Department of Agriculture Affairs at the Ministry of Environment (MoE); Ahmed Abu Zayid, representative of MoE General Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, and other QC members.
The meeting discussed mechanisms for supporting agriculture production in the country, classification of foodstuff, controlling of food prices in the local market, and the entry of food products in the country.
Al-Ansari pointed out that the MoE organises regular and periodical training sessions for local farmers and farm workers to spread awareness on the importance of organic products.
The MoE has also adopted a national project for the production of bee honey and offers free pestilence control services, especially for palm trees located in different houses around the country.
He stressed that there is a project law concerning the approval of organic agricultural products, which is still being developed by concerned parties. The law aims to organise the handling and production of such category of products.
However, the committee members said much still needs to be done to support local producing farms. The committee also agreed that display yards of farms products should be equipped with adequate cooling and storage facilities to avoid food spoilage due to excessive heat in the summer season.
They suggested the staging of a competition among local farms for the best production to encourage farmers to exert more effort.
The committee members also demanded for customs exemptions for agriculture equipment and apparatuses to support the private sector, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).