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Environment and Agriculture

Environment and Natural Resources

Qatar is a peninsula located in the Middle East, bordering the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. The total area of the country is close to 11,500 sq. kilometer. Mostly flat and rocky, the country’s notable features include the majestic sand dunes in the southeast, natural beaches along the coast, and elevated limestone foundations in the west.

According to its geographical location and climate, Qatar is classified as a hot subtropical desert. The weather is hot and humid in the summer, but mild and pleasant in the winter. Though it rarely rains, sandstorms are a common occurrence. The scarcity of fresh water resources has led the government to adopt and develop desalination technology. Although water continues to be drawn from underground sources, most of it is obtained by desalination of seawater.

Although much of the landscape is covered with sand, natural vegetation – such as trees, reeds and shrubs – can be found in some regions. Greenhouse technology is also used to grow local produce, such as tomatoes and cucumbers.

Beneath the land of Qatar and its surrounding waters lie some of the biggest oil and gas deposits in the world. The discovery of oil has led to a financial rebirth of the country, while the abundance of natural gas reserves will help secure its future.

The government is committed to preserving the environment. Laws and regulations are in place to limit pollution and protect wild life. Environmental assessments are made on all potential industrial sites to ensure new projects comply with national rules.

The hot weather, water shortage, and soil fertility issues in Qatar are the major challenges for the expansion of the agricultural sector. However, the government has succeeded in developing this sector through using the greenhouses, modern irrigation systems, and non-traditional ways in agriculture, with the aim of achieving food self-sufficiency.

Recently, the domestic demand for agricultural investment has increased significantly as a result of the great attention paid by the government to this vital sector. The government has provided banking facilities and loans for agricultural projects, and supported farms with essential necessities of production to help in raising the local production.