Qatar - Agriculture
The government, which owns all agricultural land, has attempted to encourage agricultural production, accounting for only 1 percent of GDP. Given the scarcity of fresh surface water, however, most agricultural activity is dependent on wells. The government has also attempted to increase the number of small farms. As a result, the number of farms has increased from 338 in 1975 to 891 in 1995. Most farmers are absentee landlords, who are relatively uninterested in investing in agriculture, and the land is mostly cultivated by foreign workers.
Qatar's agricultural products are consumed locally, providing 70 percent and 40 percent of the consumption of summer and winter vegetables, respectively. In addition to vegetables, Qatar produces cereals, fruits and dates, eggs, poultry, and dairy products. Despite a noticeable increase in agricultural production in the course of the past 20 years, however, Qatar continues to rely on food imports, especially foodstuffs and live animals, which account for roughly 10 percent of total imports.