Monday, 12 August 2019 11:17

Beating the desert heat

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Three times daily in summer the Holstein cows on a dairy farm north of Doha, Qatar, placidly step onto a circular platform to get hooked up to automated milking tubes.

Afterward they get sprayed with cool water and go back to one of 40 barns where misting and cooling systems keep the temperature at roughly 28 degrees C, well below the brutal 43 degrees C outside on Qatar’s scrubland.

The cows, about 20,000 of them, rest on beds of cooled sand. They do everything but yoga, joked Saba Mohd NM Al Fadala, the farm’s public relations director highlighting the comfortable conditions. Two years ago, none of this was here.

Qatar imported all its milk. But then neighbouring Saudi Arabia and its regional allies declared they would blockade Qatar over disputes that included claims that Qatar supported Islamist factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

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