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Qatar takes giant step for achieving food security

Qatar takes giant step for achieving food security


Satyendra Pathak
Doha
In a massive step towards achieving food security in the country, the New Port Project (NPP) Steering Committee on Sunday signed a contract with Doha-based Al Jaber Engineering to establish a food-processing and storage facility near Hamad Port at a cost of QR1.6 billion that will be more than sufficient to meet the local demand for sugar, rice and cooking oil.
Al Jaber Engineering will have 26 months to design and build the facility.
To be developed on an area of 53 hectares, the project will consist of specialised units for processing, manufacturing and refining of rice, raw sugar and edible oils.
A first-of-its-kind in the country, the food-processing plant will have the minimum daily capacity to produce 300 tonnes of sugar, 300 tonnes of rice and 200 tonnes of cooking oils.
"Once the food-processing and storage facility becomes operational, it will ensure a stockpile for 3 million people for two years for each commodity processed on any given day," Minister of Transport and Communications and NPP Steering Committee Chairman HE Jassim bin Saif al Sulaiti said.
"After meeting the demand of the local market, at least 30 percent of the food items processed at the plant would be exported," he added.
The minister said the project will be implemented as per the best international practices and standards. It will have high storage, packaging, conveyance and handling capacity by utilising latest technologies.
NPP Director Maisar Jamil El Qutami said the production capacity can be doubled if required.
Switzerland's Buhler, German BIA and Italy's CM Bernardini that specialise in technology and equipment for food processing plants have been roped in to assist Al Jaber Engineering on the project.
Sulaiti said raw materials for processing will be sourced from various countries and the by-products will be used as animal fodder.
After the facility is fully complete, the Ministry of Transport and Communications will hand it over to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce for awarding contracts to private parties for its operation.

Talking to Qatar Tribune on the sidelines of the event, Al Jaber Engineering CEO Osama Hadid said the designing on the project has already started and construction work would start within two months.
“We will ensure that the project is delivered on time,” he said adding that the company will also bid for the operational part of the project.
Mohammed Sultan al Jaber, Chairman of AlJaber Group of Companies said in a statement: “We are thankful to The Ministry of Transport and Communications and the New Port Project Steering Committee for trusting AlJaber Engineering with the design and construction of the ‘Strategic Food Security Facilities Project.”
“Being a Qatari company, we are proud to have been chosen for this strategic project for the State of Qatar. AlJaber Group of Companies shall provide full support to the project team to ensure high standards of quality and delivery on time,” he added. The NPP Steering Committee had invited companies to bid for the project last year.
The contract signing ceremony was also attended by ambassador of Switzerland to Qatar HE Etienne Thevoz, ambassador of Germany to Qatar HE Hans-Udo Muzel and ambassador of Italy to Qatar Pasquale Salzano.

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