Qatar MME to mandate GCC specifications on imported farm produce

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Farm Products
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Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) is expected to implement GCC Standard Specifications on all imported agricultural products across all the ports and entry points of the country from March. 

The initiative is not only expected to ensure the quality of imported agricultural products but also help in stabilizing prices in the local market while guaranteeing that local farmers and farm owners do not incur losses.

MME has already made agreements with numerous organizations including the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to implement the new step.

The entity cited surplus availability of locally produced vegetables of different types and abundance of imported vegetables as main factors which resulted in a considerable drop in the retail prices of vegetables.

MME stated that that the volume of local production of vegetables during this period of the year often reaches its peak, especially from January until April, leading to a considerable drop in retail prices. The matter was only aggravated by the abundant availability of imported vegetables.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and MME will work in tandem to conduct intensive joint inspection campaigns to ensure the quality of imported products while confirming that retailers provide dedicated spaces for promoting local products.

The organization also took the opportunity to acknowledge the excellent support given to the farmers which resulted in a considerable increase in the local production of vegetables. MME had supplied them with all the necessities of production and the related sophisticated technology such as the distribution of as many as 3,400 greenhouses to all the registered farms across the country.

The Ministry of Municipality and Environment stated that more support will be given to the farms due to the key role they play in ensuring food security.

The MME has also launched various marketing programmes since 2012 such as the yards for selling local agricultural products, the Qatar farms program, the premium product programme and the purchase of dates from local farms, in addition to Mahaseel Food Company which guarantees the cost prices for the participating farms in case of a severe drop in prices.

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