The massive Al Mazrouah yard, which was opened near Umm Salal for retailing and wholesaling locally produced fresh vegetables, is being closed tomorrow as the current season ends, but plans are afoot to open two more such centres in the next season, which will begin in November.
The Ministry of Environment said yesterday it was studying setting up branches of the “experimental” yard, in Al Shamal and Al Wakra, in the next season.
The experiment was highly successful, a senior ministry official said yesterday, talking of the yard near Umm Salal. “A study is going on to open such markets at two more locations, in Al Shamal and Al Wakra,” said Dr Faleh bin Nasser Al Thani, Director of the Agricultural Research and Development Department at the ministry.
An event was organised yesterday to announce the closure of Al Mazrouah Yard and honour individuals and organisations for their efforts to support it.
“The market will be closed on April 27 because the season has ended,” Al Thani announced.
About 45 farmers intend to participate in Al Mazrouah Yard in the next season. “Therefore, we are expanding the facility of the existing market to accommodate the additional farms.”
Farmers producing large quantities of vegetables demanded more similar markets since one facility was not enough to sell their products.
“We produce about 1,000 boxes of vegetables per day, whereas, the sale of our products at Al Mazrouah Yard is not more than 50 boxes in one day, and this market opens only three days a week,” said the Manager of Al Safwah Farm, Mohammad Najib Abdul Karim.
However, the ministry said the experience had been very good and it had served both consumers and local farmers and helped break the monopoly of middlemen in the Central Market. Since Al Mazrouah opened on December 27 last year, 170,000 boxes of vegetables have been sold at an average of 3,200 boxes a day, according to the ministry’s figures.
More than 35,000 people have visited the market to buy fresh vegetables. This means the daily turnout was 660 persons. More than 55 local agricultural products and 35 imported fruits were available at the 22 outlets in Al Mazrouah.
The ministry said the prices of vegetables at Al Mazrouah Yard were 30 percent lower than those in other markets.
Source : Qatar Chroncile