Southwestern China's Sichuan Province helped Qatar grow vegetables in the desert and reduce its reliance on imports.
Qatar heavily relies on imports for vegetables due to its mild winters and hot, humid summers. It has been working with countries like China to boost its local production of vegetables.
Sichuan, a major agricultural base in China, helped Qatar by sharing its plant factory knowledge, thus realizing vegetable planting in the desert, and ensuring the sufficient supplies for the World Cup.
Qi Zhiyong, chief scientist of the innovation team of the Institute of Urban Agriculture (IUA) explained: "Different varieties of plants require different light. The light they need varies with different stages as well. Instead of sunlight, we use artificial light to control the process of vegetable and fruit production."
Qatar remains relatively hot all year round. The sunlight is strong, and water is especially precious. In view of these characteristics, Qi and his team have done pioneering work mainly on shading and temperature control technology according to local conditions. "In the World Cup, many of the vegetables that football stars had were produced by our technology," he added.
This agricultural technology is expected to be applied in Middle East, Central Asian countries in the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions in China, according to Qi.