Local produce will be sold at a lower price at the markets compared with other places.
Five seasonal vegetable markets are set to open their doors for the public for the holy month of Ramadan starting from Thursday.
The markets will operate from 7pm to 11pm and will remain open until the end of the holy fasting month, Abdurrahman Al Sulaiti, General Supervisor of Vegetable Markets at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), told local news outlet The Peninsula.
The markets, located in Al Sheehaniya, Al Mazrouha, Al Wakrah, Al Khor-Al Zakhira and Al Shamal, will also welcome customers on the weekend to ensure local produce is available for the public all week and at an affordable price.
“Over 70 percent of locally produced seasonal vegetables are still available at the markets at lower prices compared to other places,” said Al Sulaiti.
Various types of vegetables and local produce will be sold at the sites, such as tomatos, cucumbers, zucchinis, leafy vegetables, eggplants, pumpkins, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, mushrooms, and onions.
Al Sulaiti said local markets contribute greatly to the selling of local agricultural produce, attracting a significant number of customers on a yearly basis. He also added that a 20% growth rate is expected this year compared to last year, highlighting the country’s progress in production and self-sustainability.
The markets will have strict management to limit the spread of Covid-19 and ensure the community’s safety while implementing precautionary measures across the board.
“Strict measures are in place. The visitors are required to show green status in Ehteraz, wear face masks and maintain social distancing during their presence in markets,” he said.
In March alone, the vegetable markets sold 2,105 tonnes local vegetables, according to statistics obtained by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment. In addition to the vegetables, the markets also sold 643 tonnes of fruits, 502kg honey, 1,109kg dates and 1,167kg mushroom.
Meanwhile, the livestock section sold over 2,130 sheep and goats, 2,141 country chicken, and 2,106 crates of eggs.
Due to the continued success, several new local vegetables were added to the markets in March, including potato, white onion, Al Qara Al Asli and many leafy vegetables that are often used by the local community.
The country’s huge agriculture growth, despite the Covid-19 challenges, have been attributed to the ministry’s efforts in supporting local farmers, which enabled them to sell their produce while adhering to the strict preventive measures to curb the spread of the virus.
The stalls in the market were provided to farmers by the Agricultural Affairs Department free of cost to allow them to sell directly to the consumers without middlemen, which increases their revenue.