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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Tareq Al-Ansari

Analysing the Resilience of Qatar National Food Security Program

Tareq Al-Ansari

Analysing the Resilience of Qatar National Food Security Program

The food crisis of 2008 served as wake up call to all food “insecure” nations. Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which are located in hyper arid climates have very low food self-sufficiency levels. This paper will focus on Qatar. During the 2008 food price spike Qatar had no choice but to continue to import food at higher prices. With the Qatari Riyal pegged to the depreciating US dollar, the Gulf state also found itself with lower purchasing power (Kumetat 2009). Increasing food prices have caused the GCC food bill to reach a record 25.8 billion dollars in 2010(Alpen capital 2011) causing unrest within local populations. The most affected are those of lower income groups mainly consisting of foreign workers (Kumetat 2009). It is evident that Qatar’s current food policy is unsustainable and is highly vulnerable to disruptions in supply chains. The inception of the Qatar National Food Security Program (QNFSP) is necessary in order to strengthen Qatar’s resilience to possible future shocks, mainly the inflated food prices. This will be achieved by means of local production, “agro-investment” and continued activity in the global market with large emphasis on local production, the largest contributor to food security. The aim of this dissertation is to highlight the vulnerabilities in Qatar’s current food policy which can be exposed by disruptions in supply chains, climate change and other environmental factors. The resilience of the proposed food security program will be assessed against environmental, economic, social and political drivers which could be the source of future disturbances in the system. Finally, recommendations to develop the adaptive capacity of the program and ultimately its resilience will be discussed.