Qatari businessman plans to airlift 4,000 cows as blockade continues

Published 13.06.2017 16:30
Updated 13.06.2017 20:35
Qatari businessman plans to airlift 4,000 cows as blockade continues

A Qatari businessman plans to airlift 4,000 dairy cows into the country in order to maintain milk supplies as political and economic blockade by Gulf neighbors continues.

According to Moutaz al-Khayyat, chairman of Power International Holding, it would take up to 60 flights for Qatar Airways to make "the biggest airlift of cattle ever attempted" come true.

The thousands of cows bought from Australia and the U.S. are expected to meet the demand for fresh milk and dairy products primarily in Qatar's capital Doha.

Al-Khayyat, whose main business is a construction firm, had been expanding the company's agricultural sector at a farm 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Doha where an enormous site produces sheep milk and meat.

As a result of the crisis, fresh milk production will now start by the end of the month rather than September and the initiative is projected to meet a third of Qatar's demand by mid-July, al-Khayyat told Bloomberg.

"No one in his daily life feels a crisis," Al Khayyat said. "The government is working very hard to ensure there's no effect."

Before the blockade, Qatar had imported most of its dairy products from neighboring countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Last week, Qatari markets announced that daily food products from Turkey such as milk, yogurt, and chicken were in high demand. Turkish food supplies can reportedly be found in most of the supermarkets across Qatar.

Starting from June 5, Bahrain, Comoros, Egypt, Maldives, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen's internationally backed government and one of Libya's three governments have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that the Gulf nation funded militant groups – charges Doha calls baseless.

Several other Muslim nations also downgraded their diplomatic ties with Qatar.

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