Posted on December 31, 2016

In a move to further strengthen food security in the country, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment is ready to set up 73 greenhouses at local farms to increase the local produce of the vegetables. Production in greenhouses continues throughout the year unlike traditional farms which works only in winter season.

The Ministry has completed the preparation to distribute 73 greenhouses to local farms as a state gift which will play a major role in meeting growing demand for fresh fruits and vegetable in Qatar. This step is aimed at increasing the local produce of vegetables and preserving the ground water. It will also encourage the farmers to use modern technology in agricultural production to expand their businesses and improve productivity. The Ministry is also encouraging organic farming in the country. So far, three farms have been turned into organic farms completely and their products are available in local market. Another five farms are on the way to be turned into organic farms, said a report posted on the Ministry’s website yesterday.

Under bee-keeping programme the ministry is set to distribute 500 beehives with all other necessities to 50 bee- keeping farms as a support to local apiculture in phase-III of the ongoing project. The ministry has provided training to the farmers for bee-keeping and has installed necessary items required to receive beehives. A total of 80 farmers, beneficiaries of phase 2 and phase 3 project, are also being followed up to provide the necessary support so they can continue the production. To improve the marketing of local agricultural produce, the farmers were given an opportunity to sell their products to the customers directly at three places -- Al Mazroua, Al Khor and Dakhira and Al Wakra. The farmers' markets will run for seven months, with the participation of 78 Qatari farms.

This season, around 4,785 tonnes of fresh vegetables from Qatari farms were sold from these markets. Preparation is going on to set up two more farmers’ markets next season. A programme to promote local vegetables was launched in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. The programme meant to give local vegetables special display in shopping malls to attract the customers. The demand for Qatari vegetables will be an incentive for the farmers to increase the production. To market local products of dates, first fresh dates festival was held in Souq Waqif this year. Twenty one Qatari farms participated in the festival. About 61 tonnes of local fresh dates were sold.

source: The Peninsula