The Ministry of Municipality, represented by the Department of Agricultural Research, organised an orientation field day for farmers and farm owners to raise the production of leafy and fruit crops throughout the year with minimal water consumption and for introducing the ongoing research in sustainable production of vegetable crops with a view to achieving food security, Qatar-Tribune reports.
Director of the Department of Agricultural Research Hamad Saket Al Shammari said the field day is a start for the new year programmes and will be followed by a number of field trips and workshops to present research results and recommendations and learn about the opinions of farmers and those interested in agriculture, and then develop the research system to serve farmers and food security.
During his review of ecological and environmental agriculture, Consultant at the department Dr Ali El Kharbotly said a new cultivation method has been developed, which is the first of its kind that combines several methods of cultivation, calling it sustainable Qatari agriculture.
He said this contributes to achieving food security with independence from the global market of fertilisers and agricultural pesticides by following an approach from agriculture that relies on local resources.
He explained that the method helps in increasing the fertility of agricultural soil and increasing the production of organic vegetable crops at competitive prices, given the low cost of production inputs and the preservation of the natural farm resources and the Qatari environment.
He pointed out that the new method reduces production costs by more than 90%.
For his part, Dr Al Sayed Al Azazi, an expert on genetic resources, spoke about the development of the germplasm of tomato varieties to resist the high temperatures in Qatar.
He explained that the current research experiments focus on evaluating and selecting a large number of tomato varieties and hybrids to identify the most suitable for the Qatari environment through a project to spread heat-tolerant and high-quality tomato varieties for production in greenhouses.
He added that during the first and second seasons of the project, 239 plant inputs were evaluated to obtain accurate data on the possibility of production during the summer months and resistance to agricultural diseases and pests.