The first edition of Mahaseel Festival kicked off Katara – the Cultural Village on Tuesday, featuring 'a wide array of locally-produced, high quality agricultural products at affordable prices.'
The event, taking place at the southern area of Katara (Park 05) until January 7, showcases 22 outlets that sell fresh vegetables such as cucumber, broccoli, tomato, cherry tomato, mushrooms, capsicum, and cabbage, among others, from 8am to 9pm daily.
Some outlets offer a variety of pure honey, strawberries and other fruits, poultry products such as free range eggs, and beef and lamb meat.
Speaking to reporters, Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti said the festival, organised in collaboration with the Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, aims to support and promote Qatar’s agricultural and livestock industry.
“We believe that our local products are much better than the imported ones,” stressed Dr al-Sulaiti, as he encouraged residents to patronise Qatar-produced products.
He noted that the festival also offers business opportunities to Qatari farm owners besides giving residents a chance to buy fresh produce at lower prices.
As part of Katara’s tradition to promote a culture of good, social solidarity, devotion and support, Dr al-Sulaiti said they will collaborate with a number of local and charity institutions to distribute products to families in dire need at the end of each day at the festival.
As a gesture of support to the farm owners taking part in this festival, Katara restaurants will buy food-product requirements from the festival “to embrace the hygiene and quality standards of the showcased local products.”
After January 7, outlets will continue selling their products on Fridays and Saturdays from 8am to 6pm until the end of April.
The festival will also hold several events and student-based activities such as the daily basket decoration competition, which starts at 5pm, and a cart decoration competition, devoted for 10 local schools.
A weekly contest dubbed as “Colour the Sketch” will be giving away QR200 worth purchasing coupons to winners. Some activities include fun and academic art workshops from 8am to 11am and from 5pm to 8pm.
The festival showcases a ‘Palms exhibition’ to raise awareness on the phases accompanying the planting process of the tree, its pollination, fruits, and health benefits. It also highlights the tree’s “honoured status in the Holy Qur'an.
Visitors, particularly children, will have the opportunity to learn the basics of proper planting and nurturing trees (and crops) through the agricultural docks set up at the venue. Topics include preparing the soil, planting the seeds, irrigation, respiration, and methods of providing the best care for plants and fruits.
At a dedicated zone, Qatari women and housewives will share their expertise on preparing and cooking local dishes with products available at the event.
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