Qatar is incredebly reliant on food imports. Only around 8% of the consumed food was produced in the small emirate on the persian gulf by 2014. The reasons vary, the main issue is the harsh climate. Just a small part of the country which mainly consists of deserts is suitable for agriculture and has to be irrigated. The consequences are far-reaching and visible in the whole region. The excessive use of groundwater empties the aquifiers which can collapse and not be refilled. Another strategy is desalination, a process that uses a lot of energy to filter out salt from seawater.
In June 2017 neighbouring countries cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing them of supporting and financing terrorism. The fact that Saudi-Arabia closed its border to Qatar is most important as it was the only land border of the country and Saudi-Arabia used to be an important trade partner for food products. From that point on, Qatar focussed on producing the goods the once imported within its own borders. The focus of the growing agricultural sector is on vegeta- ble and fruit, but also on meat and dairy product. But the growth of that sector comes at price, it consumes huge amounts of the allready very scarce water. To minimize the water consumption the start using new technologies such as greenhouses and modern irrigation systems. Against the background of the upcoming athletics and football world championships in 2019 and 2022 I had chance to get an insight on what is happening in Qatar and how they are dealing with the crisis.