Groups of students from different schools in Qatar who visited the Mahaseel Festival had the opportunity to take part in a number of educational activities, providing them with a unique learning experience on planting.
Some of the daily activities, taking place at the southern area of Katara–the Cultural Village, include art-and-crafts workshops, and a palm exhibition, which aims to raise awareness on the planting process.
After each of the sessions, many of the students from schools including Doha Modern Indian School, Qatar Academy Msheireb, and the Lebanese School, were able to identify a wide range of farm produce and the stages of their growth.
Besides the workshops and exhibition, the festival’s cart decoration competition for 10 schools is also expected to attract more students and visitors until Saturday. Ambassadors and other embassy officials from various missions in Doha also visited the event and toured the stalls, which showcases a variety of home-grown farm produce.
In a statement, Algerian ambassador Abdel Aziz al-Sabaa lauded Katara for a one-of-kind initiative that benefit local entrepreneurs and farmers, and help in attaining food security for Qatar’s people.
“Katara’s efforts in supporting domestic producers, and at the same time raising awareness about farming, is commendable,” he stressed.
Argentinian ambassador Rosanna Cecilia also shared the same view saying the festival’s success should encourage Qataris to further invest and focus in agriculture.
The envoys were joined by Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti in their visit to the different stalls and facilities at the event.
It is learnt that a number of Qatari farms have also started producing organic vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes, among others but in limited volume. Free range chicken and duck eggs are also on offer.
Prices of some items at the festival are 5% to 10% lower compared to the commercial outlets while others cost almost the same. A source, who was among those who conducted inspections and tests at Qatari farms, also stressed that no harmful chemical was used to grow the crops.
Many of the buyers observed that the quality of the products sold by each farm is comparable, or even better, than those imported from other countries.
“We see that tomatoes here have no blotch at all compared to those I buy in one of the leading supermarkets in Doha,” a female resident said. “For the price, I think it is almost the same.”
But for vegetables such as broccoli, the price per kilogram at some of the stalls is less than QR10 while in some supermarkets, it costs more than QR18.
Some of the visitors at the festival include Qatari newscaster Khalid al-Rahimi and Qatar E-Nature chairman Dr Saif al-Hajari, who also commended Katara organising a festival that supports and endorses Qatari farmers and their produce. The festival will conclude on January 7 but will continue during the weekends until the end of April.
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