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Qatar may use food waste to lower dependence on imported feed


The project represents a glimmer of hope for the country, which is looking for a way to reduce its dependence on imported feed for its growing livestock industry.

Dr. Kashif RasoolQatar urgently needs a more sustainable and cost-effective source of protein for animal feed production, said a sustainability and environmental scientist at QEERI and one of the project’s authors.

He stated that nearly a third of food products in the global supply chain spoil before reaching the customs table.

Studies show that the amount of food discarded by rich countries is equivalent to the total food production in Africa and sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Kashif Rasool

technology

He added that this technology, whose development was funded by the Ministry of Municipality and the Qatar National Research Fund, aims to revolutionize waste management practices by converting organic waste into protein feed.

The developed solution involves using biogas as a substrate for microbial fermentation, converting biomethane into microbial protein. The scientists did not provide additional details about their technology, including the strain of bacteria they plan to use.

“By using methane as a feedstock for microbial protein production, this approach addresses emissions from agriculture and provides a sustainable, cost-effective source of protein,” Dr. Rasoul said.

90% import foodstuffs

The scientists revealed that they plan to work with local communities, feed companies and stakeholders along the value chain to finalize the technology and launch its industrial use, without providing any specific time frame.

Due to its scarcity of water resources and arid lands, Qatar imports 90% of its food. The country has long been struggling to reduce this number. It introduced the Qatar National Food Security Program in 2009 with the aim of increasing self-sufficiency from 10% to 70% by 2023. Ambitions were lowered to 40-60% in a later edition of the plan, but even this goal was not achieved. .

High hopes

Dr. Rasoul also confirmed that the project is one of the most promising technologies for the feed industry in Qatar.

Dr. Fares Al-Momani, professor of chemical engineering at Qatar University and one of the project authors, said that the results of the first experiments were promising. This technology has been shown to be effective in producing bio-protein from a mixture of agricultural waste, which includes, among other things, spoiled fruits and vegetables.

“Microbial protein is a high-quality, easily digestible protein source that contains all the essential amino acids that animals need, which contributes to improving their health and well-being, leading to better productivity and profitability,” Dr. Momani said.





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