Open Field Agriculture
Open field agriculture currently represents the core of farming in Qatar. Farmers do not use the entire available acreage on their farms. The proportion of cultivated land is on average 30% of the total farm land. The cropping system is dominated by fodder crops (41% of the cultivated area), followed by vegetables (34% of the cultivated area) and fruit trees (9% of the cultivated area). Cereal crops are grown on only 1.2% of the cultivated land. Most farmers use organic fertilisers from cattle, sheep, and goats in the fertilisation of crops along with chemical fertilisers. It has further been observed that approximately 43% of the water resources is used to irrigate fodder crops, about 37%m is used for fruit trees, and 19% for vegetables. More than 70% of farmers use flood irrigation for fodder, while the remaining 30% use sprinkler irrigation because of the difficulty in using drip irrigation as a consequence of pipes impeding the process of cutting grass. Date palms, which are one of the best adapted crops to the desert climate, can contribute to Food Security whenever these are integrated with livestock production. At present, 65% of farmers use flood irrigation to irrigate their palms.
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