About Us

Agriculture, also called farming or husbandry, is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel, drugs and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. However, all farming generally relies on techniques to expand and maintain the lands that are suitable for raising domesticated species. For plants, this usually requires some form of irrigation, although there are methods of dry land farming. Livestock are raised in a combination of grassland-based and landless systems, in an industry that covers almost one-third of the world's ice- and water-free area. In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has become the dominant system of modern farming, although there is growing support for sustainable agriculture, including permaculture and organic agriculture.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers and, and technological improvements have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal fare and the health effects of the antibiotics, growth hormones, , and other chemicals commonly used in industrial meat production. Genetically Modified Organisms are an increasing component of agriculture today, although they are banned in several countries. Agricultural food production and water management are targeted as an increasingly global issue that is fostering debate on a number of issues.

Agriculture is a strategic sector in Qatar because of its critical role in the nation's Food Security. Domestic agriculture faces development problems mainly related to the scarcity of irrigation water, the poor quality of the soils, and adverse climatic conditions. Qatar imports over 90% of its food requirements. The agricultural trade deficit in 2008 amounted to QR 4.38 billion, or US $1.2 billion.

Expanding the agricultural sector will require the introduction of “best practices” and a farming business model that stresses economic efficiency, optimal use of scarce resources, minimum impact on the environment and profitable and sustainable agriculture. One key strategy will be the deployment of water use efficient crop production technologies such as protected and controlled environment production and hydroponics as well as advanced irrigation systems. The agriculture sector will also require a market stabilization plan that contains both inputs and subsidies and a price support mechanism.

The massive planning effort required to build up the agriculture sector will require well-managed stakeholder participation; comprehensive land use planning and agricultural zoning; revised agricultural policies, legislation, and regulation; a comprehensive strategy for agriculture research and extension and university-level training; and comprehensive plans and strategies for the fisheries and livestock sectors.