The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME)’s Agricultural Affairs Department has chalked out plans to develop the Al Mazrouah, Al Wakra, Al Khor-Al Thakhira, Al Shamal and Al Sheehaniya yards that sell local farm produce, an official has said.
Abdulrahman al-Sulaiti, general superviser of these yards, told local Arabic daily Arrayah that the development operations include the expansion of some of their sections due to an increase in the number of farms that are expected to participate in the yards initiative next season.
Ehteraz checking at the yard
He said the yards are currently continuing to offer services to the public at three locations: Al Mazrouah, Al Wakra and Al Khor-Al Thakhira.
"The current season has seen local yards being flush with different fresh farm products," he said, adding that the ministry has continued to operate the said yards to help consumers buy more than 25 local products.
Al-Sulaiti explained that this period sees the peak of summer vegetable production, including cauliflower, capsicum, cucumber, eggplant and other leafy vegetables that can be produced using greenhouses, in addition to watermelon, sweet melon, pumpkin and onion.
He also stressed that this farming season has been longer than the previous ones, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic prompted the MME to continue offering the sales of local vegetables at some of these yards to give consumers easier access to the vegetables they require.
He said that the yards are strictly implementing the Covid-19 preventive and precautionary measures for the protection of both consumers and workers. Nobody is permitted inside any of the yards without showing the ‘Green’ status on the Ehteraz application, which indicates that the person is healthy. This is in addition to the implementation of other measures such as wearing facemasks and maintaining a safe distance between people at the yards.
Meanwhile, consumers appreciated the taste and quality of locally produced watermelons sold at these yards. They also said the prices of different items have been stable and reasonable for more than two months due to the steady production of various kinds off farm products.
Speaking to the daily, some farmers said the Qatari farms have proven their ability to reach an advanced stage of vegetable production. According to them, this is proven by the fact that they continue to produce different types of vegetables despite the advent of summer and the resultant high temperatures.
They said the authorities concerned have exerted great efforts this season and encouraged Qatari farms to continue with their production and provide different types of vegetables to the market. They added that the local products have proven their superior quality, and all this has been possible thanks to the “remarkable support given by the MME to farm owners interested in enhancing production”.
They also sought steps to draw Qatari youth towards farming.
It was recently reported that the MME has lined up 39 new projects to achieve food security in the country. These projects will help the country's food security efforts by boosting the production of vegetables, sheep, goats, fish and eggs. All the projects are in the stage of contract awarding and development, and production will begin by the next season.