Fresh produce at discount rates will soon once again be available in Qatar, when the country’s seasonal farmer’s markets open on Thursday.
Two markets – one at the Al Mazrouah Yard near the Umm Salal Stadium and one in Al Khor – will open from Dec. 4, and will feature produce from some 42 Qatari agricultural farms.
On offer are fresh vegetables like spinach, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, carrots and green peppers, at almost 40 to 50 percent off retail rates.
The markets will also sell cheese, eggs, other poultry products, fish, and highly sought after items like locally-produced honey, and fresh and canned camel milk.
Speaking to the Peninsula, Yusuf Al Khulefi, the Director of the Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Environment, said that a larger number of local farms would be represented at the markets this year.
The markets, which are open from Thursdays to Saturdays from 7am to 5pm, run until mid-May, when the hotter weather will bring them to a close.
They are part of Qatar’s efforts to support local farms and beef up its food security measures. Currently, only 6 percent of local land is farmable, and the country imports around 90 percent of its food.
Last year, the Al Mazrouah market, located here, surpassed its initial sale of fresh vegetables, selling 1,156 more tons than it did in 2012. At the close of the season, the two markets had sold more than 900 tons of fresh fruit, 33 tons of fish, 590 sheep, goats, cows and camels and 4000 chickens.
To keep up with the rising demand, the MOE opened the Al Khor and Al Dhakira markets in January this year, and plans to open a third market at Al Wakra.
The latter will only sell fruits and vegetables this season, but will offer poultry products and fresh fish next year.
More information and directions to the markets can be found on the Facebook page here.