The upcoming 8th season of the yards for selling local agriculture and farm products will feature products from 125 Qatari farms, a senior official at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has said.
Speaking to local Arabic daily Arrayah, Abdulrahman Hassan al-Sulaiti, general supervisor of the yards, explained that five more farms are participating than the previous season.
The new farms will join the yards at Al Sheehaniya, Al Shamal and Al Khor and Al Thakhira. The last season hosted the products of 120 local farms, distributed as follows: Al Mazrouah (36), Al Khor and Al Thakhira (30), Al Wakrah (25), Al Sheehaniya (17), and Al Shamal (12).
"The increase in the number of participating farms reflects the trust the farm owners have in the yards as one of the best marketing outlets for the local products," al-Sulaiti observed.
It is also an endorsement of the MME's efforts to encourage local farm producers to increase their production through these marketing outlets. The local yards season is set to start by the end of October, according to the official.
"Consumers also stand to benefit from these yards. They will have more options in terms of prices and varieties of products, creating a natural balance of retail prices.
"Similarly, this would encourage farmers and producers to compete among themselves to improve the quality of their products and increase their varieties."
Al-Sulaiti pointed out that the participating farms have been using attractive marketing methods by way of excellent packaging of select, high-quality products.
Earlier, the MME organised a number of related workshops for farm owners and workers to encourage them to adopt creative marketing methods and maintain the quality of the products on display.
In addition, the MME gave farmers good incentives to expand the greenhouses farming, aiming at providing the local market with the necessary vegetable products throughout the year round and not during the season alone.
The official expects the sales of the upcoming 8th season to increase by 20- 30% due to the higher number of participating farms and the improved quality and diversity of products that would be featured.
The sales of the first season (2012/ 2013) amounted to only 884 tonnes of vegetables while that of the 7th season (2018- 2019) shot up to 7,288 tonnes. Al-Sulaiti said that Al Mazrouah yard achieved the largest quantity of sales followed by Al Khor and Al Thakhira, Al Wakrah, Al Sheehaniya and Al Shamal, respectively.
In the meantime, the official said that the MME is currently studying the possibility of opening new yards based on the need of different areas in the country.
The available five yards account for the sales of around 50% of the locally produced vegetables and farm products while the rest of the production often goes to the Central Market and other shopping outlets.
Maintenance and development works on the yards are underway in order to prepare them for the launch of the new season by the end of next month.