Qatar Railways Company announced the completion of research on the use of tunnelling soil for agricultural purposes. The research was conducted in cooperation with Qatar University (QU) represented by the Environmental Science Center (ESC) and the Center for Advanced Materials (CAM).
The company had previously announced the commencement of the research on the use of soil resulting from the tunnelling works carried out on the Doha Metro project for agricultural purposes, to find solutions for developing agricultural resources and achieve food self-sufficiency in Qatar in a sustainable manner.
Analysing Different Soil Samples
Over the past year, the ESC had analysed different soil samples from the rubble resulting from the Doha Metro tunnelling works and conducted laboratory experiments that include soil enhancement in search of opportunities to produce various agricultural crops.
The soil testing results revealed a vast similarity in the mineral and physical composition of the natural soil used in local farms in the country. The research team in charge of the project revealed that the soil can be successfully used in agriculture after mixing it with natural soil conditioners in various ratios. To obtain those results, the team cultivated various plants used as pasturages such as clovers and millets.
Chief of Strategies and Business Development at Qatar Rail, Ajlan Eid Al Enazi said that massive quantity of soil from their tunnelling works has led them to look into the best means to utilise the soil, which led them to this joint research project with QU. He said that they are currently working on expanding the study to put and test the results of their research.
Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies at QU, Professor Mariam Ali Al Maadeed said they are very pleased to cooperate with Qatar Rail on this ambitious project that will contribute massively to finding long-term solutions to agricultural concerns in Qatar.
Thanks to the distinctive research capabilities of Qatar University and its accredited technologies, we were able to find use for the tunnelling soil, and we hope to see the tangible results of this research in reality.’
According to Assistant Undersecretary of Agricultural Affairs and Fisheries at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Sheikh Dr Faleh Bin Nasser Al Thani, achieving self-sufficiency in agricultural production is one of their most important future goals.
In light of the results of the soil testing, we look forward to working closely with both Qatar Rail and Qatar University to establish a committee dedicated to the project and discuss the means of implementation, the allocation of lands, and eventually, mass production. All of these contribute to building the country’s capabilities in production of agricultural crops.’
Qatar Rail seeks to work closely with relevant authorities to explore the possibilities of rehabilitating unused lands, which can be used to produce agricultural crops that would cover local consumption and possibly allow for future agricultural exports.
For updates and more information about the project, visit the Qatar Rail website through this link.