In turn, the Center for Advanced Materials, which plays an important role in supporting multidisciplinary research in materials science and engineering, contributes to environmental research efforts. It is currently working on a research project on the development of a smart green technology infrastructure with a full cycle for extreme climate and adaptation.
The Center has also implemented a project on blue energy generation and simultaneous fertilization using wastewater for fertilizer production, another on organic fertilizer made from biodegradable plastic and cellulose from plant waste, and advanced membranes for cleaning industrial wastewater from oils that can be desalinated and used in crop production.
The Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University is concerned with the issue of preserving natural resources and sustainability. This is reflected in the many research projects it has undertaken in the past, such as: the national agricultural census in Qatar, in addition to other projects that focus on the environment and its preservation, and contribute to raising environmental awareness in society.
There are some scientific research and high-impact publications that aim to provide some solutions to adapt to the desert environment to produce food, double production at the lowest costs while preserving water and reducing resource waste.
The institute has contributed its survey-based research techniques to collect accurate scientific data that supports the identification of sustainable solutions that support the efforts of the state and communities to adapt to drought, desertification, the difficulty of producing food, waste management, and identifying needs, in cooperation with the relevant government agencies.
One of the research projects that the Institute has completed is a study related to food production that focused on moving towards sustainable food production systems in Qatar by evaluating the feasibility of hydroponics. The project focused on one of the non-soil production systems as sustainable food options called aquaponics, which is an agricultural mechanism that is implemented in Qatar and is described as an environmentally friendly food production mechanism that combines aquaculture and hydroponics to form a closed loop, with the ability to reuse water and nutrients to support plant growth.
In the same context, the Institute completed a study on evaluating the alignment of food surplus recovery and redistribution technologies with the circular economy. The study aimed to provide the basic information needed to develop innovative mobile applications that enhance food security in the country, reduce waste, while highlighting the main potential benefits that different stakeholders such as farmers in the Qatari economy can reap from the innovative mobile application to recover food surplus.
The project’s researchers emphasize that innovation has shown important solutions to many problems, and that its use in the food sector can provide ideal solutions for managing and reducing food surplus waste and loss.
The agricultural census and study of costs and agricultural productivity, which was implemented during the period 2020 – 2021 in cooperation with the Ministry of Municipality, is one of the Institute’s most important projects. It sought to provide accurate and detailed data on the agricultural sector, which contributes to the formulation of effective policies to achieve sustainable agricultural development in the state.
The census results helped to draw up the strategic plans for the agricultural sector, due to the accurate picture of the reality of the sector, which facilitates the process of supporting producers and providing production inputs, which supports Qatar’s food security strategy. The agricultural census also helped to estimate the expected growth of livestock and its contribution to food security, as well as providing data on natural resources and the capabilities of the agricultural and livestock sectors so that they can be utilized and exploited optimally.
Within the scientific research system concerned with the environment and agriculture, the Agricultural Research Station comes as one of the latest and most important research centers affiliated with the research sector at Qatar University, where it was approved for establishment in 2020. It seeks to find and develop innovative agricultural technologies to ensure the optimal use of available natural resources and to address the challenges of cultivating dry lands, including advanced irrigation systems, and the application of integrated pest management and plant disease control.
The station seeks to develop and innovate sustainable organic agriculture that includes crop rotation, the application of organic fertilizer production in farms to increase the fertility of agricultural soil and preserve it, and the selection and innovation of agricultural technologies suitable for the climate in Qatar, in addition to its role in serving the research community of scientists, researchers, and students.
In light of its goals, the station focuses on developing research and technologies in a number of areas that are a priority for Qatar; these include the research and technology program related to the production of food and fodder, the program to preserve Qatari plants, and a special program for palm research, in addition to training and qualifying national cadres and workers in this field, and working as a center of expertise to meet the needs of the community and stakeholders for consulting, awareness activities, and scientific and technical services. (QNA)
Source: Qatar News Agency