Since the boycott was imposed on Qatar by neighboring countries, Qatari authorities have undertaken major changes in order to boost domestic food production and implemented robust food security strategies. Qatar is well on its way to reaching one of its goals of creating 1,400 farms that will cover 45,000 acres of land by 2022.
One of Qatar’s most notable achievements in improving their food security situation can be seen within the dairy sector.
To supply the country’s growing demand for dairy, 4,000 cows where shipped into Qatar shortly after the blockade, which would outfit Qatar’s largest dairy farm, Baladna Food Industries.
By December 2017, Baladna, had been charged to boost dairy production further. In response, the dairy farm ordered 10,000 more cows and their CEO announced an expansion commencement consisting of 40 new full-facility farms and two water treatment plants and feed storage facilities.
The original 4,000 cattle that were airlifted into Qatar have swelled to a now almost 24,000 head herd. Due to summer temperatures reaching well over 100°Fahrenheit, the cows live in large-spaced air-conditioned facilities at a farm in Umm al Hawaya, which is about 35 miles outside Doha.
An official report from April 2019 stated that Baladna is producing 320 tons of milk every day. This makes Qatar self-sufficient in dairy with production twice as much as the population demands. Baladna is now shipping the excess fresh milk to multiple Gulf neighbors as well. This is a significant accomplishment considering Qatar imported 80% of its dairy at the time of the blockade implementation.