Blockaded Qatar starts country’s biggest chicken farm

Work on a vast $440m poultry complex in "strategic areas" across the beleaguered emirate of Qatar has begun, says a report.

The complex will have a production capacity of 70,000 tons of broiler meat and 250 million eggs year, according to the company developing it, Dar Al Rayan Investment.

The initiative comes as Qatar faces continued transport disruptions as a Saudi Arabia-led bloc of neighbours prevent vehicles and aeroplanes entering from their territory.

Neighbours, including UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, adopted their punitive stance in June accusing Qatar of destabilising the region by promoting Islamist extremisms, a charge Qatar denies.

The poultry project is expected to provide a big boost for domestic chicken and egg production at a crucial time, reports Doha News.

The Al Rayan Poultry complex will span 15 million sq m of land across Qatar, including at farms in the south, in Al Waab and in the north.

In keeping with the need for greater self-sufficiency, there are also plans to build a feed mill that can supply poultry producers around the nation, according to Doha News.

In a statement, company official Mohammed Hussein Al Ali said:

"Our focus is not just to build a poultry farm, but to create a whole ecosystem that supports the production of domestic poultry products.

"Steps like providing parent stock poultry feed and factory will all support and encourage smaller broiler meat production units in the country. This, in the long run will contribute significantly to the local economy and domestic food security."

Qatar has been considering boosting domestic poultry production since at least 2014, when the government announced plans to build a new chicken farm complex.

But in 2015 the concept was put on hold amid belt-tightening measures, says Doha News.

Then Dar Al Rayyan was awarded the project after beating dozens of other companies.

No completion date for the poultry complex has been disclosed.

Qatar has had had to scramble to find new trading partners and supply routes for food and building materials since the blockade by its neighbours.

Photograph: A Serbian hen (Filip Maljković/Wikimedia Commons)

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