Through a combination of factors, including rapid economic development, population growth, environmental challenges, and political disputes, Qatar has made food security a top priority, according to the US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) in its recently-released print edition of the ‘Business Opportunity Report: Qatar’s Food Security’.
The report includes remarks from HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie, in addition to key information on Qatar’s food security sector targeted for US companies. The report was sponsored by LuLu Hypermarket and Y International USA Inc at the Gold level.
In response to the above mentioned challenges, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) set out the Qatar National Food Security Strategy 2018-2023, which focused on four main pillars: international trade and logistics, domestic self-sufficiency, strategic reserves, and domestic markets, stated the report, which aims to provide essential information for American companies interested in doing business in Qatar’s food security sector.
This plan, in addition to the many infrastructure, agricultural, and related projects contributing to Qatar’s food security, has helped the country increase agricultural, fish, animal, and dairy production by 400% and increased self-sufficiency in vegetable production by 80% during the course of the blockade.
“Qatar’s rapid pace of development in food security has resulted in the country taking the 13th overall position and first position in the Mena region for food security, according to the 2019 Global Food Security Index,” said USQBC managing director Mohamed Barakat, who added that “Qatar is committed to becoming food secure and has many projects in the pipeline and opportunities for US companies.”
The US is already a key partner in Qatar’s transformation to becoming a food-secure country. In 2019, the US exported over $141mn worth of food-related products to Qatar, representing an 11% increase from the previous year, the report said. The top five state exporters were California ($26.9mn), Georgia ($23mn), Virginia ($15.4mn), New Jersey ($12.4mn), and Texas ($8.3mn).
A key contributor of US food exports to Qatar is through LuLu Hypermarket and Y International USA Inc. LuLu Hypermarket’s 14 state-of-the-art stores and shopping malls in Qatar have provided retail distribution with many food imports arriving from its Y International USA Inc distribution centre in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, the report added.
“We look forward to new partnerships in Qatar’s food security sector for US companies,” said Sheikha Mayes bint Hamad al-Thani, managing director of USQBC Doha Office. She added: “The country is committed to growing its food and water stocks sustainably, while using the most advanced environmental technologies and methodologies.”
Today, Qatar is looking to further enhance ties with the US in the country’s food security efforts. Some of the key areas for partnerships and commercial opportunities for US companies include technology transfer, research, genetics, biological controls, standardisation, testing, green fodder, meat supply, and strategic stocks management, the report said. The report is available for download at https://bit.ly/31VnNYu.