Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 26th 2015 Contents DOHA---Desert nation Qatar will use "cut-
ting-edge technology" to grow up to 70 per
cent of its own vegetables by 2023---a four-fold
increase, officials from Doha s biggest agricultural
group said yesterday.
The prediction comes after a successful two-
year trial of the Zulal Oasis hydroponics project,
which saw tomatoes grown in greenhouses without
soil and using recycled irrigation water, by Hassad
Food on farmland west of the capital, Doha.
A spokesperson for Hassad said the scheme
could now be rolled out and could allow the
country to register the huge increase in pro-
duction of its own vegetables within eight
Currently, between 11 and 16 per cent of
vegetables are grown locally, depending on
The trial focused on tomatoes but could
be used to grow other popular vegetables in
Qatar, including cucumbers, aubergines and
"We are pleased to announce that this pilot
project has achieved great success," said Nasser
Mohamed al-Hajri, chairman and managing director
of Hassad Food.
"The technology proved to be perfectly suited for
Qatar s climate; it also exceeded expectations regarding
the yield and quality.
"The Zulal Oasis technology is a long-term sustainable
production model, with the capability of producing high-
grade crops 12 months a year regardless of the season."
Food security is a big issue for Qatar, which imports the
vast majority of its needs.
A National Food Security programme, designed to increase
Qatar s and food self-sufficiency, was launched in 2013 and
will continue until 2030. (AFP)
MADRID---Spain has detected its first domestic case of the
painful mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya in a 60-
year-old man in the eastern province of Valencia, officials
The man was "most likely" infected in Gandia, a seaside
Mediterranean resort, and was treated in hospital last month,
the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said
in a statement.
"This is the first chikungunya case reported from Spain without
travel history to endemic areas," the statement said, as all prior
reported cases involved people who caught the virus while abroad.
Chikungunya, more commonly found in Africa and Asia, is spread
by two mosquito species, and is typically not fatal. But it can cause
debilitating symptoms including fever, headache and severe joint
pain lasting months.
The word chikungunya, from the East African Kimakonde
language, translates loosely as contorted or hunched over from
Last year there were 266 recorded cases of chikungunya
in Spain, all imported, according to the National Epi-
demiology Centre, a unit of the health ministry. The
first case of domestic transmission of the disease in
Europe happened in Italy in 2007. (AFP)
first case of
have begun to remove foreign
brands of detergents from stores,
claiming that they pose health risks.
The Russian Consumer Protection
Agency said in a statement yesterday
that recent inspections of selected
goods by top foreign brands such as
Colgate-Palmolive and Procter &
Gamble have found high levels of
toxic ingredients in them.
Moscow extended its ban earlier
this month on selected food imports
from the 28-nation European Union
and other countries. Russia, however,
has not banned the imports of deter-
gents or washing liquids, and most
of the producers mentioned by the
agency have production facilities in
United Nations---The UN Security
Council yesterday piled pressure
on South Sudan s president, warn-
ing it was ready to "act immedi-
ately" if he does not sign a deal to
end the 20-month war ripping
apart the world s youngest nation.
President Salva Kiir is scheduled
to sign the power-sharing agreement
in Juba on Wednesday, alongside the
leaders of Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and
Ethiopia, but his spokesman said he
South Sudan s rebel leader Riek
Machar signed the agreement a week
ago but Kiir had only initialled the
text and said he would return to the
table in early September.
After meeting on the crisis in
South Sudan, council members
"expressed their readiness to act
immediately if President Kiir does
not sign the agreement tomorrow
as he has undertaken," said Nigerian
Ambassador Joy Ogwu, who chairs
the council this month.
"We will take immediate action
if he does not sign, or if he signs
with reservations," she said, without
The United States has presented
a draft resolution that would impose
an arms embargo and targeted sanc-
tions on South Sudan if Kiir fails to
sign the accord. (AFP)
UN council to
if South Sudan
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, August 26, 2015
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