Qatar looks to Oregon

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Articles - July 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

 

0711_Qatar_03
At a 2010 trip to the Al Sulaiteen Farm in Qatar, from left: Dr. Mohamed Al Maslamani, Dr. Mahendra Shah, Catherine Mater, Paul Pawlowski, Nancy Hamilton, Abdullah Salem Al Sulaiteen, Mark Edlen and Ron Adams.
For months nothing came of the meeting. But in January 2010, Hamilton got a call from Al-Thani. He wanted to come to Oregon. One month later, Al-Thani came to visit his alma mater and the state that could hold the keys to Qatar’s future. During his weeklong trip he visited food processors in Portlandand Oregon State University agricultural researchers near Corvallis, and drove three hours to the wind-swept landscape of Boardman. There he toured GreenWood Resources’ poplar tree farm, along with Three Mile Canyon Farms. Three Mile oversees a 36,000-acre integrated dairy-crop farm that produces enough potatoes annually to fill more than 2 billion McDonald’s Happy Meals with a small bag of fries.

Three Mile works with far less water than it used to because of agreements it signed with environmental groups over declining salmon runs in the Columbia River. Just as Qatar is water-poor, Three Mile managers have had to innovate to use every drop of water they are allotted as effectively as possible. “It costs approximately $60 to $70 in pumping costs per acre foot. Water is money,” says Three Mile general manager Marty Myers. It costs as much as six times that amount to desalinate water in Qatar.

Three Mile has achieved enormous productivity through the use of GPS-guided tractors, remote-controlled pivot drip-irrigation sprayers, and other devices; its lush fields stand in stark contrast to the scrappy land surrounding it.

Al-Thani was so impressed with what he saw, he insisted that delegates from Oregon go to Qatar and visit with Fahad Al-Attiya, chairman of Qatar’s food security program, and others. Three months after Al-Thani’s visit, a group of academic, industry and government leaders set off for Doha.

 



 

Comments   

 
thinking about Oregon
0 #1 Oregon's Not A Pawn Shopthinking about Oregon 2011-06-27 00:48:24
Why so cheap to fund their program for only 2 Million for 3 years? That is a long time for such few dollars when Qatar is so rich with money.
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