gulf| Hydroponics farming has created a huge impact on Qatar’s agriculture sector as local fresh produce is becoming sustainable all-year round, prominent Qatari agriculturist and Agrico managing director Nasser Ahmed al-Khalaf has said.
“We continue to grow and develop more farms (in Qatar) even during the summer. We never stop and have been producing every day since 2015,” he told Gulf Times.
Agrico, a private Qatari agricultural development company established in 2011, aims at helping the country achieve self-sufficiency.
The company developed a highly sophisticated hydroponics system capable of producing various types of organic and pesticide-free vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, green leafy vegetables, spring onion, egg plants, zucchinis, mushrooms, hot and sweet peppers, and melons, among others, all year long.
Al-Khalaf said all their production is hydroponic-based, which gives higher yield, better quality of vegetables and fruits, and consumes 90% less water compared to conventional system of farming.
Between farms and backyards, he noted that eight different areas (and still increasing) in the country are being developed for hydroponic farming.
“We have three major farms, which we developed other than Agrico, and they are now producing even during the summer,” al-Khalaf stressed.
“I have one farm at 20,000sqm and still increasing in size. Another farm at 10,000sqm and another farm at 100,000sqm, he added.
“All these farms have been developed, operated and marketed by Agrico using its technology,” al-Khalaf said. “We provide for them the total solution from development, operations and marketing.”
It is learnt that local farms recorded a substantial increase in the production of fresh vegetables since the blockade on Qatar.
According to al-Khalaf, similar hydroponic systems designed for backyard farming are also being built, which aims to sustain every family’s vegetable needs.
The development of farms in the country is also unlocking their full potential and further increase yields that would meet the growing demand for fresh produce, according to al-Khalaf.
He encouraged compatriot entrepreneurs to invest in agriculture, especially in hydroponics farming. He described it as “a good and healthy” business.
“Hydroponics is the future of agriculture”, al-Khalaf stressed.