25 Apr 2018

Qatar needs greater food security

WTI Fellow Christian Häberli attended a two-day inter-agency workshop in Doha (18-19 April 2018) to share knowledge and experiences on food security and sustainability in Qatar, which is subject to a trade boycott by its Gulf neighbours.

The Qatar Symposium was co-organised by Switzerland as part of its commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

According to Dr Häberli, the workshop showed that Qatar’s food security should aim at enhancing the present priority placed on domestic food production in this small, super-arid country endowed with almost unlimited gas reserves. Food security efficiency and effectiveness can be improved with trade arrangements with other countries and a food reserve project implemented by the port authority.

Expert advice from four Swiss institutions - the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, ETH Zurich, the Centre for Development and Environment CDE of the University of Bern, and the WTI - focused on the need for greater sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness of the various, often unrelated programme components.

Christian Häberli presented the regulatory and WTO implications of food security, food safety and food quality policies. A number of follow-up programmes were discussed, including scientific cooperation and a peer review on lessons learned and progress achieved.