When looking into the agriculture sector in Qatar, one of the most important events on the calendar is the Qatar’s International Agricultural Exhibition (AgriteQ), providing a platform for local and international agriculture stakeholders to exchange expertise, discover trends and developments, and seize business opportunities in this vital sector.

In 2006, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), known as the Ministry of Municipality and Agriculture Affairs at that time, launched the first edition of AgriteQ as a local exhibition, where the major sector was landscape and nurseries, in addition to flower shows and a few technologies in vegetable farming, with a showcasing of the MME activities and services. From 2007 to 2015, three additional editions were organised by the MME as a local exhibition. 

In 2016, the newly reestablished Ministry of Municipality and Environment organised the fifth edition of AgriteQ, which was recognised as the last local version of the event. 

In 2017, local investors started to develop farms specialised in vegetable farming and livestock. Being the main platform to exchange knowledge and expertise in the agricultural sector, the organising committee decided to take AgriteQ 2017 to the next level, from a local to an international exhibition, covering four main sectors: agriculture, food technologies, environment and veterinary. The idea succeeded and the decision of going international was proven right. Fifty international exhibitors from 12 countries participated alongside 81 local exhibitors.  

In 2018, the agricultural sector in Qatar grew tremendously – and swiftly – with investments in various subsectors, from poultry to dairy products to the food industry and more. Each subsector began to grow and caught the attention of international suppliers, manufacturers and researchers. As part of AgriteQ 2018, the organising committee launched the AgriteQ Conference, and invited local and international speakers and experts to introduce, showcase, and debate the latest researches, studies and technologies in all of the subsectors of agriculture.  

In addition, AgriteQ 2018 grew exponentially in size from 11,000 sq m in 2017 to 22,000 sq m in 2018, with 176 international exhibitors from 38 different countries participating alongside 149 local exhibitors. 

In 2019, the challenge was to maintain the success drawn from previous years. A global awakening towards the environment played a role in emphasising the focus on the participation of the environmental sector under AgriteQ 2019, leading to a parallel exhibition, the first International Environmental Exhibition (EnviroteQ). 

In addition, the government increased their support for local productive farmers with a fund of QAR70 mn for five years. As a result, aligned with the government’s strategy, the organising committee raised the bar and increased all the figures achieved in AgriteQ 2018 in terms of space and participants with 29,000 sq m distributed over 250 international exhibitors from 50 countries alongside 200 local exhibitors. The conference witnessed agreements and MOUs between different authorities, the public sector and the private sector aiming to encourage the development of both agricultural and environmental sectors in Qatar. The initiative of planting one million trees is one of the ongoing projects that was introduced in EnviroteQ 2019. 

Strategic food security projects set the strategy of self-sufficiency, assigning to the agricultural sector a big share of responsibility to achieve it 2023. Challenging targets were set to around 70% in vegetables, poultry products and green fodders, 100% in shrimps and 30% in red meat. In response, local investors started to expand, requiring international expertise in all related industries. As AgriteQ is the mirror of the agricultural and environmental sectors in Qatar, it offers a platform to exchange ideas, strategies, studies and technologies, and reflects the needs and offerings of the market. 

In order to fulfil its role in keeping consistent in the progress, development and innovation of AgriteQ, the organising committee launched AgriteQ 2020 and EnviroteQ 2020 focusing on creating the ideal platform for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and experience between local and international exhibitors, and encouraging the participation of official national pavilions as a main key player in the continuous development of AgriteQ and the sector.

AgriteQ is a tailor-made event where you can find business-to-business, business-to-consumer, education, entertainment, awareness, official authorities, investors, suppliers, and developers, local and international presence. In addition to the four main sector areas, where more than 500 spaces are available for exhibitors, the Ministry showcases its services, work and achievements in a special pavilion. More than 100 start-ups and SME farms will be In the Local Farmers Market Place, where they can get exposure to potential clients and the opportunity to promote their products. In addition, there will be a conference to discuss the latest technologies in agricultural and environmental industries.

Education through entertainment is key to capturing a new generation’s attention. A dedicated area for edutainment will deliver messages of awareness towards the importance of agriculture, the respect of nature and environment, saving natural resources, recycling, and many other subjects, side by side with a mini-zoo area where visitors can get up close to a selection of animals, and dedicated spaces for official international pavilions.

AgriteQ 2020 is set to take place from 17 – 21 March 2020 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC). For more information, visit agriteq.com.

This article was written in conjunction with the AgriteQ Organising Committee at the Ministry of Municipality and Environmen (MME).

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