Brand new air-conditioned farmers markets to open soon | Fresh vegetables from local farmers
Two brand new air-conditioned farmers’ markets will be opened soon by the Agricultural Affairs Department under the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
Both the markets will start functioning during the agricultural season in the Al Mazrouh and Al Wakra areas.
These markets will remain open throughout the year, and sell locally grown fresh vegetables. These vegetables will be different from the current seasonal markets which function only during winter months.
Yusuf Khalid Al Khulaifi, Director of Agriculture Affairs Department was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a workshop on ‘National Training Course on Marketing Strategies and Channels for Small and Medium Farms’.
Talking to The Peninsula, Al Khulaifi remarked that the new facilities, the permanent farmers’ markets, will be an addition to the existing five farmers’ markets.
The markets offer fresh vegetables from local farmers to the customers directly without middlemen and brokers at reasonable prices. He said that the existing farmers’ markets will be upgraded to meet the rising demand of marketing platforms with growing local agricultural produce. And the new markets will enable local farmers to sell their produce from greenhouses, even during offseason when the seasonal vegetable markets are closed.
The Greenhouses and Shaded farms:
“The greenhouses and shaded farms, which have been set up with the support of the Ministry, are producing vegetables in large quantity during summer and throughout the year,” said Al Khulaifi. The greenhouses equipped with the latest farming technologies and advanced irrigation system to reduce water consumption help extend the agricultural season in the country.
The Qatar Development Bank Green House Financing program is aimed at spreading the culture of agriculture among citizens and enhancing self-sufficiency by providing the necessary funding for building greenhouses in different areas suitable for Qatari homes.
The bank purchases the needs and accessories of greenhouses with the requirements of installation from various suppliers. The Green House program is meant to benefit Qatari citizens. The amount of financing is up to 100% of the value of the project and limited to a maximum of QR 70,000. The profit rate and payment method amounts to 1% per annum with no administrative fees. The repayment period of up to 4 years includes a grace period of six months.
The method of disbursement of funding is direct to suppliers or sellers when one makes a purchase order to the bank. Payments to the supplier are made after an inspection visit by the banks by the labour service staff or through the appointment of another party to ensure that the agreed work is completed
The Ministry of Agriculture has set up a goal to achieve self-sufficiency in vegetable production up to 70 percent by 2023. The target is meant to be achieved by developing the existing farms and launching new giant agricultural projects.
Over 7,288 tonnes of local vegetables were sold out at these markets during the last season (2018-19).
The current winter vegetable markets in Al Mazrouha, Al Wakra, Al Khor Al Zakhira, Al Shamal and Al Sheehania help the market by over 30 percent of total vegetables produced by local farms during the season.