Qatar has 1,216 registered farms with 23,903 hectares of arable land. Only 12,274 hectares (or roughly 51%) of this arable land is actually under cultivation. The average size of productive farms in Qatar is 27 hectares, and on average only about eight hectares are used for crop production, with roughly equal areas devoted to fruit trees, vegetables, and fodder crops. Barley is the most frequently grown cereal crop, but cereals typically occupy less than one hectare on a typical farm.
There are a number of problems which are faced by farmers in Qatar. The most obvious is insufficient water due to traditional irrigation methods such as flood irrigation being used. Lack of expert manpower, lack of seasonal employment at appropriate times, and the use of the fallow system are all contributing factors to large proportions of land within the farms being kept out of cultivation. The QNFSP is exploring ways of not only improving and changing current practices, but also to initiate the adoption of new technologies and farming techniques to increase crop yields.
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