Qatar has started exporting its hydroponics farming technology in the region, proving its growing advancement in this field, prominent Qatari agriculturist and Agrico managing director Nasser Ahmed al-Khalaf has said.
“We are developing 1mn sqm of hydroponic farm in Oman and hopefully by next year it will be ready,” he told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the eighth edition of the Qatar International Agricultural Exhibition (AgriteQ) and the second Qatar International Environmental Exhibition (EnviroteQ), taking place until March 27 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Apart from its construction, al-Khalaf said Agrico, a private Qatari agricultural development company established in 2011, will also be in charge of the Omani farm’s operation and marketing. “We are very comfortable with hydroponics, we have the experience, (and we) tested or made a lot of R&D where we produce profitably,” al-Khalaf said. He added Qatar has invested significantly in advanced farming technologies that suit its climate and environment.
Agrico 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.
“When you go there (other countries), it is more on conventional farming, culture is a little bit different, resources there are also a little bit different. Some areas they have very good soil, water, and environment,” al-Khalaf said. Qatar is very small, we don’t have all these luxury, that is why we were forced to be innovative and to develop new things.”
Domestically, he said Agrico, in partnership with another local farm, is set to develop one (10 hectares) of the 10 plots distributed by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment into a hydroponics farm. An agreement signing is scheduled to take place today at AgriteQ/EnviroteQ.
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