All photos by Chantelle D’mello
Early this morning, dozens of vendors unpacked crates of crispy lettuce, colorful cabbage, fragrant cilantro and other locally grown produce to officially open Qatar’s first farmers’ markets of the season.
Doha News visited The Al Mazrouah Yard – located opposed the veterinary center in Umm Salal, east of Lusail – today, where tables were piled high with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and other foodstuffs.
This is the third year for the farmers’ market, which allows food producers to connect directly with customers. With Qatar importing the overwhelming majority of its food, the market enables shoppers to get their hands on freshly picked produce that hasn’t spent days inside a shipping container.
It’s also an opportunity to save money, especially when buying in bulk.
For example, a small box of cherry tomatoes that typically retails for between QR10 and QR30 in stores could be seen at the market for QR6.
Other items on sale included beetroots, zucchini, radishes, gourds, pumpkins, eggplants, melons, fish and potted plants.
New this year is a booth selling a hydroponic growing system that allows residents to grow lettuce, rhubarb and other leafy vegetables inside one’s home or a backyard without the use of soil.
The market is officially open daily between 7am and 5pm, but some booths stay open until 7pm. Vendors only accept cash, but there is an on-site ATM.
The Umm Salal farmers’ market is one of three operating around the country. The other two are located in Al Khor-Al Dhakira and Al Wakra.