Doha, Qatar: The Ministry of Municipality has enhanced efforts to ensure reasonable prices for local agricultural produce, especially during peak season when the market receives vegetables in large quantities from Qatari farms and abroad.

The Ministry represented by the Agricultural Affairs Department is running several initiatives from providing agricultural inputs to marketing platforms to reduce the production cost of local farms enabling them to compete with imported produce.

The new initiative is to allow only high-quality agricultural produce during the peak season to curb the local market flood with vegetables.

“We are constantly in touch with the ministries concerned and held a number of meeting with them to address the problem faced by the local farmers related to importing agricultural produce in large quantity during peak season from January to April,” said Head of Agricultural Guidance and Services Section at the Agricultural Affairs Department, Ministry of Municipality, Ahmed Salem Al Yafei.

Speaking in a Qatar TV programme recently, he said that the Department in coordination with the authorities concerned is trying to allow the import of high-quality vegetables of A category following local specifications.

“The move will prevent the market flooding with agricultural produce and will protect the local produce from any impact in this regard,” said Al Yafei.

Speaking about the support of the Ministry to local farmers, he said that the Department is providing agricultural inputs including fertilisers, pesticides, seeds, irrigation systems and greenhouses among many others free of cost.

“We are also providing marketing platforms to local farmers to get good returns for their efforts and investments,” said Al Yafei.

He said that there are five yards for selling local produce directly to customers without any middlemen.

“We are also running programmes like - Premium Qatari Vegetables and Qatar Farms - for marketing local vegetables in major commercial outlets,” said Al Yafei.

He said that the Department is also running a marketing programme with Mahaseel for Marketing and Agriculture Services company, a subsidiary of Hassad Food. Mahaseel provides marketing and agricultural services to farmers, to showcase the added value of local produce and motivate farmers to increase & enhance local production.

“One of the major challenges of local farmers is marketing their produce. That is why these platforms have been provided to address this key issue,” said Al Yafei. He said that the agricultural sector of the country made remarkable achievements in making Qatar self-sufficient in fresh food production.

“The self-sufficiency rate of Qatar in agricultural produce reached about 45 percent in 2024 from 27 percent in 2011 which reflects the efforts of local farmers and agricultural companies,” said Al Yafei.

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