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Monday, March 20, 2023

Investment Promotion Agency: Qatar leads the Middle East and North Africa in modernizing agricultural technology

A specialized study conducted by the Investment Promotion Agency in Qatar showed that the State of Qatar leads the Middle East and North Africa in the agricultural technology modernization sector. The study indicated that the huge growth potential in the agricultural technology sector in the region, and Qatar’s commitment to environmental management, along with its strategic location and world-class technological infrastructure, made it an attractive destination for agricultural investment, achieving an annual growth rate of 15.2 percent in food production locally. She added: The State of Qatar outperformed its GCC counterpart with regard to a compound annual growth rate of 4.3 percent between 2014 and 2019, and recorded a staggering 400 percent rise in domestic food production between 2017 and 2019, and achieved 100 percent self-sufficiency in poultry production. , and 109 percent in dairy production in 2019, compared to 2017, when Qatar relied on imports for 72 percent of its supplies. The study indicated that investors are seeking to take advantage of the huge growth potential in the agricultural technology sector in the Middle East, which is expected to reach $170 billion by 2025, as the agricultural technology sector in Qatar is expected to play an important role in securing food supplies and stimulating the process of economic diversification. sustainable development, backed by extensive international investment agreements, financial support for small and medium enterprises, venture capital, and direct access to Hamad Port, one of the largest green ports in the world. She noted that the issue of food security represents an important element within the global efforts to increase productivity, reduce waste, and adopt sustainable production practices, as the consequences of climate change and the obstacles facing supply chains and changes in land use and agricultural production have reinforced the need for technologies. and innovative solutions. She emphasized that agricultural technology has gained tremendous momentum as a result of accelerating its use through private investment and technological development within the framework of the fourth industrial revolution, expecting that the size of the agricultural technology market will reach $54.2 billion in 2030, after it recorded $11.1 billion in 2021. She added that the countries that are growing With a population as fast as China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, it continues to invest heavily in the agricultural technology sector, and works to attract foreign direct investment, to equip the agricultural and food production sectors and meet the need to increase agricultural yields. She pointed out that the figures indicate that global investment in the agricultural technology sector increased by approximately 46 percent in 2020, and by 61.4 percent in 2021, representing a peak in investment flows and a large jump from $600 million in 2012 to $11.3 billion in 2021, noting that A promising indication in this sector is that the Middle East and North Africa region witnessed the signing of 33 investment deals in agricultural technology start-up projects worth $250 million in announced investments from 2014 to 2020. The specialized study, conducted by the Investment Promotion Agency in Qatar, showed that the intensification of Investment in technology and digitization has stimulated this sector in the region, as technology-based agricultural practices support investment in the agri-food sector in the Middle East and North Africa region through a set of factors, most notably connectivity through the Internet of Things, which is expected to double by 2025. And that licensed cellular Internet of Things connections reach more than 70 million, in addition to water efficiency and reuse technology, as 70 percent of the total global use of technology Gia such as hydroponics, drip irrigation and water desalination plants used in the agricultural sector in the Middle East and North Africa region, as well as environmentally controlled agriculture, as 70 percent of fresh vegetables and fruits can be grown in an economically efficient manner in the region, which uses controlled agriculture, in addition to Vertical farming is expected to witness rapid growth from $1.1 billion, the size of the regional market in 2021, to $5 billion by 2029. The study indicated that the State of Qatar aims, through its national strategy for food security, to achieve self-sufficiency by 70 percent in food. 2023, in addition to large investments in agricultural technology and geographic information systems, and the next generation of artificial intelligence technology in agricultural practices, noting that Qatar ranked first among the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf on the Global Food Security Index 2021, which is an annual classification of food security that includes 113 countries, addresses four main pillars: affordability, availability, quality and safety, sustainability and adaptability. She confirmed that there are more than 50 leading technology companies and research and development centers operating in Qatar through partnership with Qatar Science and Technology Park, noting the launch of the experimental hybrid laboratory of Qatar Science and Technology Park, and the VFarms laboratory, the first farm in the country without external water sources. , through a water generator from atmospheric steam powered by solar energy, and produces water from the air, and the Wadi Water Company for Agricultural Technology signed an agreement with the Investment Promotion Agency in Qatar to bring technology "moisture to drinking water" to the country, while Finnish iFarm is working with Aggreko Farms to build an AI-powered vertical farm in Doha.

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