The sale of local agricultural produce began on Thursday at five yards in the country - Al Mazrouah, Al Wakra, Al Khor & Al Thakhira, Al Shamal and Al Sheehaniya - with the participation of 150 local farms.
Ahmed al-Yafei from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment's Agricultural Affairs Department said the quality of products offered at these yards would "undoubtedly attract an increasing number of consumers".
Now in their ninth season, the yards will operate from 7am until 4pm thrice a week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, he said through a press statement issued by the MME.
Noting that the yards provide a window for marketing local agricultural products, he said the ministry stresses that the participating farms pay due attention to the quality of goods offered. This, in turn, would greatly contribute to achieving the set goals.
Conditions and standards have been set for the quality and safety of vegetables and fruits sold at the yards. Besides, periodic analysis of pesticide residues will be conducted at all stores to ensure that they comply with health regulations to ensure the safety of the products sold, he added.
Samples will be collected daily from the farms participating in the five yards for testing in order to ensure their safety. Advanced technology will be used to detect pesticide residues in the products before displaying them in the yards, al-Yafei said.
He added that the MME is working in co-operation with the Ministry of Public Health to examine all residues of pesticides in vegetables at farms before such products are provided to consumers in the market. The efforts include examining random samples in the laboratory and sending results within 48 hours.
As reported recently, maintenance works have been carried out at the five yards covering all the buildings and facilities in addition to replacing and maintaining the shades and market umbrellas, internal planning and paving of the grounds to make them ready to receive customers.
A record 16,035 tonnes of vegetables produced by local farms were sold at the yards in their eighth season, marking an increase of over 120% compared to the previous. Also, 6,253 tonnes of fruits were sold in the eighth season, an increase of around 13%.