The state of Qatar will import 4,000 cows to end the shortage of fresh milk due to the blockade decreed by their neighbors.
Five weeks ago, one of the first consequences of the unexpected blockade to Qatar occurred which was the lack of fresh milk on the shelves of the country’s supermarkets. It was one of the products that arrived daily by land from Saudi Arabia, whose border remains closed since then. To put an end to the scarcity and dependence of its Saudi neighbors, a Qatari businessman gave the idea of importing cows in the first stages of the crisis. “The objective of this proposition is to compensate the cut we have suffered from fresh milk, a food that has a very fast expiration date and that it is impossible to bring by air,” says Mazen ALSBEITI, Public Relations Director of Power International, the Qatar conglomerate to which the dairy company Baladna belongs and who is in charge of this singular landing.
The dream has begun to take shape in recent days with the arrival in Doha of the first batch of 165 Holstein cows, an autochthonous breed from Germany characterized by its high milk production and its ability to adapt to new environments. The cattle landed last week in the country’s capital aboard a cargo plane of the Qatar Airways from Budapest and were transported by truck to the company’s facilities. “We expect that new remittances will continue to arrive with an interval of between three and four days. In total we will import 4,000 cows,” the company spokesperson said. Australia, the United States or the Netherlands will be the places of origin of the next ruminants.
Whereas the blockade decreed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt is continuing, the new cattle will immediately begin to produce milk for a country with a population similar to that of Murcia’s around 2.7 million citizens. “We estimate that, when all the cattle reach Qatar, we will be able to provide 100,000 liters to the market every day, which is between 30% and 35% of local demand,” says ALSBEITI. Doha already has some dairy companies that could not compete with the imported offer. “Our idea is not to compete with the factories that already exist but to face the new needs”, adds the person in charge. Whereas Qatar has one of the highest GDP per capita on the planet, the country has sought in recent weeks alternative routes to overcome the severe land, sea and air blockade imposed by the four countries when Qatar was accused of supporting terrorism, a charge that Doha rejects. Iran and Turkey has become the country’s lifeline.
Since the beginning of the blockade, Ankara has sent around 197 cargo planes, 16 trucks and one ship to cover the supply needs of the State of Qatar, the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas. The country has threatened to demand economic compensation from the quartet of nations that are trying to smother their trade. However, their development plans have not been affected. On Monday, State-owned Qatar Petroleum and the French multinational TOTAL Company launched a joint venture to exploit an oil field. Last week Doha announced that it will increase production of liquefied natural gas by 30% in the next five years.
This article was originally published on the following website: http://www.elmundo.es/economia/2017/07/19/596e546fe2704eca7d8b45bc.html
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