In a bid to boost local agricultural produce, over 500 greenhouses with a total area of 280,000 sqm have been set up in the last five months. The new facilities will not just increase the production but will also give yield round the year.
Yusuf Khalid Al Khulaifi, Director of Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, said that the local firms have taken the responsibility to meet the growing demand of vegetables in the market.
“Now we have to play our role as citizens and expatriates to buy their products to encourage the production,” said Al Khulaifi.
Speaking about the state support to farmers, he said that there are many companies that offer services for setting up greenhouses and consultancy and Agricultural Affairs Department also provide guides and share experiences with farmers. “And Qatar Development Bank (QDB) finances all agricultural projects,” he added.
The agricultural produce increased significantly year-on-year. In 2012 when seasonal winter vegetable markets were launched only 24 farmers participated and 800 tonnes of vegetables were sold.
Last year, the number increased to a total of 5600 tonnes. This year 83 farmers are participating, eight farmers more than previous year. During first week of this season, around 100 tonnes of vegetables were sold.
Now three winter vegetable markets are working three day a week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) from 7am to 5pm at Al Mazrouah, Al Khor-Al Zakhira and Al Wakra. Three new markets will be opened in Al Shahaniya, Muaither and Al Ruwais by the beginning of January next year to provide farm fresh vegetables to the consumers at their respective localities.
Speaking on the existing production of vegetables at local farms, Al Khulaifi said: “We are in the beginning of the season, all types of vegetables from greenhouse and farms will be available from December to May.” He said that almost all types of vegetables are being produced in Qatar.
On prices, he said that the farmers are following the daily price list issued by the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) based on supply and demand. “The winter markets offer farm-fresh good quality vegetables on reasonable prices,” said Al Khulaifi.
With an increase in local production of vegetables, the local farms started supplying premium quality products to the shopping complexes.
Carrefour Hypermarket has set up separate shelves at City Center Complex to display local vegetables of premium quality. The ministry’s statement said that the premium products of local vegetables are already made available at various branches of Al Meera.