Qatar's Agriculture Sector
of Qatar’s Food Imports are from the United States
Expected annual growth rate of Qatar’s Agriculture sector through 2025
About Qatar's Agriculture Sector
With Qatar’s agricultural trade deficit being roughly QR 4.38 billion ($1.2 billion), Qatar is attempting to become fully self-sufficient in food. By 2023, Qatar has set its goal of being 90% self-sufficient in dairy, 70% in vegetables, 30% in red meat, 70% in eggs, 100% in shrimp, 65% in green fodder, and 100% in fresh poultry. As of 2016, before the blockade and before these goals were set, Qatar was about 30% self-sufficient in dairy, 20% in green fodder, and less than that in the other categories. However, as of 2019, the country has reached roughly 75% self-sufficient in dairy, 25% in vegetables, 20% in red meat, 25% in eggs, 55% in green fodder and over 100% in fresh poultry.
Due to the harsh climate in the region, Qatar is investing heavily in greenhouses to control temperature and humidity that is suitable to grow produce, such as tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers and mushrooms. From 2017 to 2018 tomato production grew from 14.6 tons to 25.1 tons.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MoME) is supporting this manner of farming with a program that will provide $2.75 – $3.3 million to 140 farms with free greenhouses. This is one of the many initiatives formed by the MoME’s four-pillar food security strategy. The four pillars have a total of 13 initiatives that should ensure Qatar’s food system is more secure against potential future supply shocks, with six of the initiatives deemed as priorities.
Due to the goal of becoming self-sufficient in food and with the government’s encouragement through these initiatives, Qatar’s agriculture industry is expected to grow by over 6% every year through 2025. The number of greenhouse farms has already increased from 471 in 2017 to 919 a year later.