QATAR plans to acquire modern biotechnology from Cuba …to enhance the weather resistance of crops at several agricultural farms set up in the suburbs of Doha

Qatar plans to acquire modern biotechnology from Cuba to enhance the weather resistance of crops at several agricultural farms set up in the suburbs of Doha as part of the country’s efforts to ensure food security.


Cuban ambassador to Qatar, Ernesto D Plasencia Escalante, told Gulf Times that the negotiations for enhancing co-operation between the two countries in the field of agricultural engineering and technology have already started.
“We in Cuba have done a lot of research in biotechnology and will start sharing our expertise with Qatar once the modalities of co-operation are finalised,” the ambassador said but did not give any further details.
Officials at the Qatar’s environment ministry confirmed they are keen to have Cuban technology to protect crops from the impact of extreme heat in harsh summer when temperatures climb up to 50 degree
Celsius.
The new initiative, they explained, is part of the Qatar National Food Security Programme that was initiated in 2008 with an idea of reducing country’s reliance on imports through the realisation of the principle of self-sufficiency.
Several farmhouses with large area under cultivation of grains and vegetables sprang up in the country, mostly in localities close to capital Doha but the crops are always exposed to severe weather.
Sustainability, however, is still a big concern for
the plan.
The Cuban technology, the envoy hoped, would help Qatar reduce the level of vulnerability of its agriculture produce to meet the growing needs of its increasing population, mainly due to a huge influx of expat workers from Asia and
Africa.
Food security is not the only area both Qatar and the Latin American nation are looking in for mutual co-operation, the envoy said.
“We are broadening the horizon … there are many other areas which we can have joint ventures in,” said Escalante.
Healthcare, he added, is another subject which has brought both the nations closer to each other in recent years with Cuban professionals already operating a hospital in Dukhan.
The ambassador said Qatari authorities are seeking more expertise from Cuba to kick start a new basic healthcare programme with intense focus on prevention and promotion of services.
Right now the Supreme Council for Health (SCH), an umbrella organisation to oversee all the healthcare services and facilities, is negotiating with the Cuban government to strengthen the community-based programme, parts of which are already being implemented.
As many as 400 doctors and paramedics are already working at a Cuban hospital and Qatari authorities are planning to utilise their experience at other facilities, the ambassador disclosed.

Source: Caye Global News, Gulf Times

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