Baladna Food Industries, Qatar’s largest producer of fresh dairy, welcomed the arrival of over 3,000 pregnant dairy cows on 12 March, 2018 at Hamad Port.
The shipment is coming from the USA and puts Baladna on path to meet its goal of dairy self-sufficiency and meeting the market demand for fresh milk and dairy products in Qatar. Two more shipments are expected to arrive by May and November this year.
This is the second shipment of cows since the Qatar blocade in June 2017. In July 2017, the first batch of an estimated 4,000 ‘ready to milk’ cows arrived in Qatar from Germany. This is a major step towards achieving self-sufficiency in supplies of dairy products after the Arab quartet imposed the Qatar blockade.
On the occasion, Moutaz Al Khayyat, Chairman to the Board of Directors said, ‘We are happy to welcome the latest additions to the Baladna family. Today’s arrival is an important step in our move towards a more sustainable and mature phase of growth, and will help us meet the market demand for fresh and high-quality dairy products. With today’s arrival, and more to come in the future, we are taking important steps in our vision of supporting Qatar’s National Food Security Program.’
The cows were transported to the Baladna Farm in Al Khor, where they will be housed in state-of-the-art barns that have been specially designed for the Qatari environment. These barns are designed to comfortably house more than 20,000 cows. Baladna has set up special cowsheds with temperature control system to protect the cows from the heat.
Peter Weltevreden, CEO of Baladna added, ‘Commitment to excellence and sustainability has always been a driving factor for us at Baladna. Our efforts are directed towards ensuring optimal health of the cows, by providing them with the highest quality fodder, temperature-regulated barns and a comfortable environment. We have also taken strict measures to establish an efficient bio-security system to prevent and mitigate potential risks to the dairy herd while we are working towards meeting the country’s dairy needs.’
Baladna Farm is currently home to more than 4,000 Holstein cows that were flown in from the USA and Europe. Since the blockade began during Ramadan in June 2017, Baladna Food Industries has worked diligently to meet local demand for fresh milk, and by Ramadan 2018 it will have achieved this goal. It aims to produce at least 80% of the local milk production by Ramadan this year.
Baladna is on-track to meet most of Qatar’s dairy requirements by the end of 2018. With an aim to venture into varied farming sectors, Baladna is also preparing for an IPO to the Qatar Stock Exchange. The IPO will help Baladna expand its product portfolio through investments in poultry farms, juice and fertiliser production.
The Baladna is set to further expand its farm with the following:
- Herd expansion to 20,000 cows
- 36 barns including hospital parlour
- Four additional mining parlours
- Water treatment plant with two water towers
- 1,o00 tons capacity feed factory
- Feed silo wth six-month storage capacity
- Manure lagoons to manage and treat animal waste
- Bio-security gates to protect frame from diseases
- Ensure uninterrupted electricity supply