23 January 2023

Texas A&M University Launches Research Project to Increase Tomato Yields in Qatar

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Doha, January 23 (QNA) - Texas A&M University, one of the partner universities of Qatar Foundation: Education, Research, and Community, launched a research project to increase tomato yields in Qatar.
The project is jointly undertaken by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, and Agrico, sponsored by Qatar National Research Fund.
The project dubbed the Environment and hydroponic strategies to enhance tomato stress tolerance, productivity and quality in Qatar, is being conducted at the Agrico farms, located near Al Khor. The researchers are assessing various genotypes of tomatoes from around the world to see which ones would thrive in the harsh environmental conditions of Qatar. They are also investigating the impact of grafting, plant density, pest control, and bumblebee-assisted pollination.
Professor at the department of horticultural sciences and Center Director at the Texas A&M Dr. Daniel Leskovar said: "Our hydroponic tomato project is a true academic-stakeholder partnership where we combine plant science knowledge with grower experience, and new crop management strategies within the excellent facilities and constant support provided by Agrico. The synergy of complementary research conducted at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in the area of tomato grafting physiology provides additional results to test in this project in Qatar. Together, we are committed to develop efficient, safe, and resilient food systems that will contribute to enhance food security".
For his part, Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor at Texas A&M University Qatar Dr. Bing Guo said: "As Texas A&M University at Qatar researchers, we strive to provide solutions to real challenges faced by the country.
In recent years there has been a pressing need to make farming more efficient in Qatar. Our preliminary experimental results show significant increase of tomato yield as compared to the current practice. This is strong indication that we will reach our goal of improving the production efficiency by 25%. We are grateful to Agrico for providing the facilities to conduct this research." he added.
The Managing Director at Agrico Nasser Al Khalaf said that Agrico is committed to supporting Qatar attain its food security goals, and through this partnership with Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
Agrico is exploring innovative approaches to improve the product yield at our farms. Research and development in agriculture play a key role in enhancing agricultural practices globally, and looks forward to working with Texas A&M researchers, to produce the best output for our country, Al Khalaf added. (QNA)


General, Qatar
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