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By the end of April next year, Baladna Farm’s dairy production will reach the level sufficient to meet total domestic dairy needs of Qatar.
“A total of 4,000 cows being imported from various countries will reach Doha by mid-September this year taking our milk production to 100 tonnes per day by mid November 2017. After the import of 4,000 cows, we have plans to import more 10,000 dairy cows which will arrive in Qatar in different phases,” said John Joseph Dore, CEO of Baladna while talking to The Peninsula.
He said that by the end of April next year, the capacity of Baladna Farm’s dairy production would be touching 300 tonnes per day which he said would be sufficient to meet domestic need of dairy products.
Separately, Baladna Farm has also started expansion work at the facility to house a big number of livestock. In a post shared on its social media page, Baladna showed the pace of expansion work going on around the facility to house as many as 25 thousand heads of cows.
Last month, Qatar Airways Cargo announced that it had transported the country’s first two shipments of 230 Holstein cows from Europe on a Qatar Airways Cargo Boeing 777 freighter. These initial shipments were part of a 4,000-head herd that marked the launch of a new dairy industry for Qatar. Baladna is not only moving fast towards making Qatar self-sufficient in dairy products but also breeding sheep and goats to meet country’s red meat demand.
Talking to The Peninsula, Raid Moussa, Sales Manager at Baladna, said that currently they were supplying around 100,000 heads of sheep and goats to the local market. “From next year, we will also start the supply of beef to the local market,” he said.
To a question, Moussa said that no dairy product available on the shelves of local market rather in the whole Gulf region could beat the quality of Baladna products. “All regional plants are using decades-old technology but Baladna has the most sophisticated and latest technology,” he added.
Baladna is a subsidiary of Power International Holding, a well-diversified Qatari company. Baladna has built special cowsheds with a temperature control system to ensure a comfortable environment for the cattle. Baladna Farm, built over 700,000 sqm, includes 40,000 Awassi sheep able to withstand high temperature and produce high-quality milk. The farm also houses 5,000 goats and an animal feed mill yielding 100 tonnes per day.
When first two shipments of cows arrived in Doha, Power International Holding Chairman Moutaz Al Khayyat said: “We are proud to expand the dairy industry in Qatar, and are thankful to Qatar Airways Cargo for the expedient, safe and secure transportation of the cattle. With the arrival of the dairy cows, we aim to meet 30-35 per cent of the imported milk demand in the country within two months.”
In a statement issued to QNA some days ago, Assistant Undersecretary for Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser Al Thani had said that new livestock production projects in Qatar included Baladna livestock farm, which targeted 40 percent share in dairy products’ market in the country. He had also said that local dairy brands like Ghadeer, Maha and Dandy were also increasing production according to a plan that was likely to make the country self-sufficient in six months.