Farmers in Qatar eyeing higher yield as more cultivable land in pipeline

 10 Jul 2017 - 2:48

Farmers in Qatar eyeing higher yield as more cultivable land in pipeline
Cucumbers ready for harvest in one of the local farms.

By Sanaullah Ataullah / The Peninsula

Amid booming business of fresh agricultural produce from local farms triggered by the blockade, Qatari farmers are working in full swing to establish additional greenhouses and preparing unused lands to increase production significantly.

The growing demand of local vegetables that provides lucrative income to the farmers has encouraged them to expand their businesses, the farmers told The Peninsula.

“We are giving final touches to setting up ten new greenhouses for planting vegetables at our farm," Mohamad Iqbal, in-charge of a farm operating in Al Shamal said.

 

Tomatoes getting ready for local market.

 

“Each greenhouse is measuring an area of 40 meters long and 10 meters wide and expected to produce about 60 boxes of vegetables per day,” said Iqbal. “It means we will be able to produce a total of about 600 boxes of vegetables per day when the production will reach the peak. The harvest from these greenhouses is expected to start within six weeks as we are preparing to start planting vegetables from this week,” he added.

Farmers with unused agricultural lands have also joined the business. “Owner of a farm in Simaisima has asked our farm to set up 15 greenhouses at his land. It is expected to be completed within few days.”

 

Local farmers are also mulling over acquiring additional lands - free spaces in their farms in a bid to prepare it for open farming in the coming winter season. “The owner of our farm has hired 50 workers from a manpower supply company few days ago to prepare additional lands for planting vegetables for next season,” said Ahmad Naim, a Bangladeshi national working with a farm in Simaisima.

“Usually by the end of farming season, workers were given leave to go their home countries for summer vacation leaning behind only few people to run the operations at greenhouses,” said Naim.

“But this year, additional workers have been hired replacing holiday goers in a bid to plow and prepare the remaining free spaces for planting vegetables”, he added. At least next three months the newly hired workers will be helping us in preparing lands and planting vegetables.

 

Work progressing on new greenhouses.

 

Speaking on current production of greenhouses, Mohamad Absarul, an Indian national working with a big farm operating in Al Khor suburb, said, “Our farm is still producing about three tonnes cucumbers and beans per day that are going directly to major outlets”.

“The harvest from new plants is expected to start within a month and half. We have a total of 14 greenhouses with a capacity of 100kg vegetables per day from each however the quantity of the production depend of the type of vegetables. We are supposed to dismantle the set up of greenhouses for repairing these days but due to increasing demands in local markets that yelling food income we postponed the plan. Some technicians have already come from China for repairing," said Absarul.

Caption

Speaking on farming techniques, Absarul said: "To save the water, we are using modern technique like hydroponic and planting in vases with little water and fertilisers.”

“Little-water farming technique is very cheaper compared to open farming as we can recycle the water and the fertilizers used in this type of farming also runs long without being changed,” said Absarul.

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