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Qatar donates 72 greenhouses to 24 local growers

Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has donated 72 greenhouses to 24 different nurseries. The initiative aims to support local nurseries in growing fresh produce in the summer. This new support measure will encourage beneficiary farms to increase production, the ministry recently shared on Twitter.

In addition, the ministry has provided 6010 baskets of seeds to 435 nurseries. 452 farms with a total acreage of 13,600,000 m2 also received assistance from the ministry to make plowing and leveling the land easier.

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The Ministry of Agriculture has guided the growers. In May and June 2021, a team of experts from the Ministry made a total of 788 visits to the farms to provide the necessary guidance to the growers.

Self-sufficiency
The support is part of an MME project in which millions of Qatari Riyals are being invested in helping local nurseries to raise fruit and vegetable production to an adequate level. The State Food Security Projects 2019-2023, launched by MME, aims to make Qatar 70% self-sufficient in the cultivation of fresh vegetables by 2023.

To achieve this goal, the projects focus on increasing local food production in two ways. The first way is to boost existing farms by ensuring they can remain fully productive year round, thanks to the greenhouses received, the latest horticultural technologies and seeds, fertilizers and marketing platforms.

The second way is to start up new major projects with the support of the private sector, in which a number of projects have already started and are currently under construction.

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In January of this year, the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment announced its intention to set up farms to guarantee the cultivation of leafy vegetables all year round. The agricultural season in the country is limited to a few months, so the idea behind the plan is to be able to grow leafy greens year-round using the proposed farms. 

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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Priva Middle East team has been in Qatar

Over the past few days, the Priva Middle East team has been in Qatar. Together with colleague Jan Westra from the Netherlands, our GM Giovanni A. visited various knowledge institutes, government entities and the well-known QTFA farm.

The trip, co-organised by Heba leith from the Netherlands Embassy in Qatar, included a visit to Hassad Food, Qatar’s premier investor in the food and agri-business sectors, and the Ministry of Municipality. During these visits, our Priva team discussed potential collaborations including the opportunity to jointly form an eco-system to achieve the set goals of Qatar’s food security strategy.

To build a robust food security strategy, Qatar has outlined its focus on four pillars:

1. Ensure that trade routes are diversified so that risk-exposure is limited and a contingency plan for alternative routes as needed;
2. Move food from port, field or reserves to table as efficiently as possible (i.e., limiting food losses/waste), with regulations that foster competition and encourage safety;
3. Put in place adequate but sensible reserve capacity to act as a buffer in time of crisis, both for inputs (water, seeds, fertilizer) and outputs (food products); and
4. Efficiently cultivate crops, meat and fish within the confines of a Qatar’s resource base to ensure a stable source of perishables in times of crisis, as well as providing a regulatory framework that creates incentives to focus on commodities that make sense from a cost-competitiveness point of view.

Source: (former) Qatar Ministry of Municipality & Environment (MME), Qatar Food Strategy 2018-2023.

Jan and Giovanni also met with representatives from Qatar University and the Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute (QEERI) part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University. QEERI is a national research institute tasked with supporting Qatar in addressing its challenges related to energy, water and the environment. The institute’s work is in line with the goals set forth by Qatar National Vision 2030, and is supported by the Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation.

On Monday, a visit to Arab Qatari Agricultural Production Company (QTFA) was on the agenda. Established in 1989, QTFA is considered the largest agricultural farm in Qatar. Spanning a total land area of 200 hectares, the farm is divided into open fields and greenhouses (cooled and un-cooled). QTFA produces around 28 types of premium vegetables and among other well-known Dutch companies, Priva’s products are in place at the farm. Senior Agronomist Carol Khadra and Senior Production Supervisor Buddhi Magar very kindly took the time to show our colleagues around the farm and its locally produced crops, including tomatoes and cucumbers.

The trip to Qatar concluded with a luncheon with Dutch Ambassador, H.E. Mrs Marjan Kamstra, Deputy Ambassador, H.E. Tiest Sondaal, Business Developer Gulf Region NL Embassy, Heba leith, and Chairman of the Dutch Business Council Qatar, Robert W. Cats Cats.

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Japan: Philip Morris-backed group to launch first plant-based Covid vaccine

A unit of a Japanese company backed by Philip Morris International is planning to launch the world’s first plant-based Covid-19 vaccine that is potentially cheaper and easier to transport and store than conventional jabs.

Toshifumi Tada, head of vaccine business development at Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, said its subsidiary Medicago would apply for Canadian approval for its vaccine candidate that is made from a plant from the tobacco family by the end of this year.

The Osaka-based pharmaceutical group expects global demand for Covid vaccines to remain strong as new strains of coronavirus continue to emerge, giving it an opportunity to break into a market that has been dominated by frontrunners such as Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

“As with seasonal flu, we don’t expect demand [for Covid vaccines] to suddenly disappear, and there is still much uncertainty regarding emerging variants,” Tada said. “We believe there is value in expanding options for vaccines.”

No plant-based vaccine has been approved for use in humans, but proponents of the technology said such vaccines were attractive because plant leaves grow quickly, shortening the manufacturing process and lowering costs. Faster production, they added, also makes it easier to adapt to combat new strains.

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Fruit salon – prices are the same as in a jewelry store: the most expensive fruit store operates in Japan

The Japanese are more than extravagant people, they always come up with something, go ahead of the rest of the world. This time they distinguished themselves with the world’s most expensive fruit salon.

Sembikiya is essentially a fruit shop, but the goods here are so expensive and the interior of the store resembles a jewelry salon, so “fruit salon” is a rather apt name.

This is the main store of the Japanese fruit giant Sembikia. It has been run by the same family since 1834. At the time, it was an ordinary fruit shop, but one day the second generation wife of the owner of the shop decided that they could make money in another way.

So, this is more of a gift shop than a store. About 80–90% of these goods are bought as a gift, because in Japan it is customary to give expensive fruits for official events (weddings, business negotiations and hospital visits).

Square watermelon – for only $ 212.

$ 69 for a package of royal strawberries (12 pieces).

Or a watermelon denuke for $ 127 ???

By the way, in 2011, farmers from Hokkaido were very sad because the price of these watermelons fell: the most expensive of them was then sold for “only” $ 4,000. Only 100 of these watermelons are grown in Hokkaido every year.

Yubari melons (one for $ 160 or two for $ 265). These are the most expensive fruits on earth. Once such a melon was sold at an auction for $ 23,500.

What’s so special about them? First, they are grown in ideal greenhouses and covered with hats to keep them from drying out in the sun. Each plant produces only one fruit, and to get the sweetest fruits, farmers cut the fruits ahead of schedule.
The Sembikia family claims that it was she who started the tradition of giving expensive fruits.

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