The Qur’anic Botanic Garden (QBG), the first garden in the world to exhibit all plant species mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, Hadith and Sunnah, is working closely with Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to strengthen Qatar’s food security through QBG’s ongoing online agricultural education programmes for QDB’s greenhouse loan financing clients.
To date, QBG has provided training to over 100 QDB clients and members of the community.
An integral part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between QBG and QDB, the educational programmes are led by agricultural and greenhouse experts in Qatar handpicked by QBG to deliver high level technical trainings and include hands-on trainings on the benefits and different types of greenhouse cultivation, crop cultivation techniques for abundant production, hydroponics, fertiliser usage and pest prevention. In line with Qatar’s food security agenda and aimed at contributing to Qatar’s efforts to achieving self-sufficiency in the production of local produce, QBG held its first online three-day interactive workshop for QDB’s greenhouse loan clients in March 2021.
Due to Covid restrictions and to ensure everyone’s safety, the programme was designed to enable interactive online training. By utilising the QBG curriculum and toolbox exclusively prepared for and delivered to QDB’s greenhouse loan clients, the participants were able to apply what they learned in real time from the comfort of their homes. This unique training programme aims to qualify the greenhouse loan financing clients and increase their capacity for self-efficient agricultural production.
At present, there are approximately 400 greenhouses and 1,400 agricultural farms in Qatar. The greenhouse market in Qatar was worth $125 million in 2020. According to a report by Expert Market Research, expected projections are to reach a value of $259 million by 2026, signalling the increasing role of greenhouse investments in enhancing Qatar’s self-sufficiency and domestic agricultural production.
Khalid Abdulla al-Mana, executive director of Business Finance at QDB, said: “At QDB, we always seek to collaborate with as many active local companies and institutions as possible to enhance and develop the knowledge of our clients. Running such workshops with the Qur’anic Botanic Garden conveys the ideal message in empowering the agricultural domain and the local economy, thus helping achieve abundance in production and supporting our strategy within Qatar National Vision 2030.”
Fatima al-Khulaifi, director of QBG, a member of Qatar Foundation, said: “Our joint work with QDB is in line with QBG’s efforts to support the community and engage them to become active contributors to Qatar’s sustainable development and food security agenda, which are crucial to the country. Last year, QBG also held a webinar on home farming and food security in Qatar, which explored the role of home gardening in self-sufficiency and its contribution to food security.”
Additionally, in a bid to support the Environmental Development pillar of QNV 2030, protect ecosystems, and empower community members to be active contributors to these efforts, QBG has launched its free-of-charge ‘Home Garden Phone Helpline’.