The Director of Agriculture Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), Yusuf Khalid Al Khulaifi, has said that ‘Qatar Farms Program’ has emerged as the largest platform for marketing local vegetables by selling over 4,000 tonnes of vegetables in the last five months.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had launched the program last year.
“Under the initiative, fresh vegetables from 140 local farms are being showcased at a number of major commercial outlets like Lulu Hypermarkets, Family Food Center (FFC), Carrefour among many more,” Yusuf Khalid Al Khulaifi told The Peninsula at a recent event.
He said that another initiative of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, ‘Premium Qatar Farms Program’ is also running parallel at major commercial outlets which offers certified premium local vegetables in boxes.
Al Khulaifi said that under Qatar Farms Program the vegetables are being showcased in loose form giving option to the customers to buy as much as they want.
“Qatar Farms Program helped market a total of 4,750 tonnes of local vegetables since its launch last year,” he said, adding that program ran during March and April 2018 on experimental basis and was implemented in December 2018. He said that the study period includes March, April and December 2018 and January, February 2019.
Premium quality local vegetables also attracted big number of customers. Under ‘Premium Qatar Farms Program’ over 3,740 tonnes of premium quality vegetables were sold out at the outlets from December 2016 to February 2019, according to a data released by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
Both the programs enable local farms to supply their produce to commercial outlets without middlemen. The initiatives aim at proving reasonable prices to local farmers for their investments and handwork by offering farm fresh vegetables to the customers at competitive prices. The good yield also encourages local farms to increase their products.
The winter vegetable markets also attracted huge customers. A total of 128 farms are showcasing fresh vegetables at the markets operating Al Mazrouah, Al Khor-Al Dakhira, Al Wakra, Al Shamal during weekend from Thursday to Saturday.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment organises various festival like flower, honey, dates, dairy at the facilities of winter vegetable markets to attract customers in a bid to increase the sale of local vegetables.