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All photos courtesy of Ashghal

New pedestrian paths, 2,800 more parking spots and 86 additional streets have been added to the busy northern part of Qatar’s New Slata area, Ashghal has announced.

The 1.72 square km area falls between C-Ring and D-Ring road to the north and south, and Salwa and Rawdat Al Khail roads to the east and west.

According to the public works authority, the new streets should make it easier for residents and visitors to get to the main roads.

Ashghal

New Slata overhaul

The area is often congested because it is home to four schools, a kindergarten, five mosques and around 70 commercial buildings, Ashghal added in a statement.

A rainwater flooding solution has also been incorporated into the area, as well as 659 lighting poles with energy saving bulbs.

Ali Bin Talib St.

Meanwhile, work continues on Ali Bin Abi Talib St., which runs parallel to Salwa Road and connects C-Ring and D-Ring roads.

The project entails boosting the capacity of the road by widening the lanes and service roads in each direction.

Penn State/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The overhaul was expected to take until the end of this year. But Ashghal said this week that it will be done by September.

Thoughts?

All photos courtesy of Baladna on Facebook

Moooove over, Turkish milk.

The second batch of a planned 4,000 cows has arrived in Qatar this weekend, local dairy farm Baladna has announced.

The Holsteins are expected to provide much-needed relief to Qatar’s existing dairy farms, which have been overworked since the Gulf dispute began last month.

Up until the boycott, Saudi Arabia met most of Qatar’s fresh dairy needs.

But once the nation closed its borders, authorities had to quickly arrange to bring in milk and yogurt from Turkey and other countries.

Big plans

A local businessman has since announced plans to spend $8 million on importing cows to help shore up the country’s own supply of the products.

Last month, Moutaz Al Khayyat, chairman of Power International Holding, said the cows will be flown in on as many as 60 Qatar Airways flights, from Germany, Australia and the US.

So far, 330 cows have made the journey, and some have even already given birth to calfs.

Baladna/Facebook

Baladna cows

The animals’ milk is being processed at a farm some 50km north of Doha.

Al Khayyat said he eventually hopes his farm will meet one-third of Qatar’s demand for fresh dairy products.

Thoughts?

Muhammed Salih/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

More than 80 percent of Qatar’s farms are considered “unproductive,” but a government-owned company is hoping to change that through a new initiative.

This week, Hassad Food announced the launch of Iktefa’ (sufficiency), a new plan to subsidize Qatari farms to help them bring “high quality products to the local market.”

Penny Yi Wang/Flickr

Farmer’s Market

Hassad said that under the initiative, it will:

  • Purchase the annual yield of local farms and resell them to the Qatar market;
  • Provide technical supervision and logistical support to farms; and
  • Develop feasibility studies for farms seeking financial support to build greenhouses.

Local farms are being invited to work with Hassad as it seeks to buy up to 5,000 tons of fresh produce a year initially.

In a statement, Hassad’s CEO Mohamed AlSadah said “We hope that through this important initiative, (we) will build bridges of cooperation with local farmers.”

Food security

Food security has been a growing concern for import-dependent Qatar.

The issue has taken on renewed importance this summer since the Gulf dispute began and the country lost some of its key food imports.

Hassad Food

Zulal Oasis

Hassad Food has long been working to shore up Qatar’s food supply. It has also been involved in getting the country food during this recent crisis.

It was established in 2008 and is a subsidiary of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.

In addition to investing in local agriculture, Hassad has food-related projects in Australia, Pakistan and Oman.

According to its website, it is also eying future investments in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Thoughts?