Qatar has received its first shipment of dairy cattle as it looks to reduce its reliance on imports following sanctions from neighbouring states.
The country is dependent on imports to feed its 2.7 million population but trade has been disrupted by air, sea and land restrictions.
Most of its dairy products came from over the border in Saudi Arabia, but the country has led a boycott against Qatar alongside Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates following allegations of the countries support for terrorist groups and its relationship with Iran. Qatar denies any wrongdoing.
The bloc has called for Qatar to shut down the Al Jazeera news network, cut ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrade relations with Iran.
In response, the country has had to look for new trade routes to provide its food and has increased its focus on promoting Qatari produce. It has increased dairy imports from Turkey and imports of fruits and vegetables from Iran.
But there are also new opportunities for local businesses to replace imports on the domestic markets.
Qatari firm Power International has plans to import 4,000 cattle, with chairman Moutaz al-Khayyat telling Bloomberg last month the cows would meet about 30 per cent of the country’s dairy needs.
And last week, 165 arrived in the first shipment from Germany which were ready to produce milk immediately.
They were taken to a new, purpose-built dairy facility and their milk will be sold under a new brand which has been launched by Mr al-Khayyat.
Shipments of cattle were expected to land every three days, bringing the total to about 4,000 in one month and will include cattle from Australia and the United States.