Mahaseel fest reflects growing demand for organic produce
March 03 2017 10:06 PM
Organic produce displayed at a stall at Mahaseel festival
Organic produce displayed at a stall at Mahaseel festival. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar

Various farms in Qatar, participating in the first edition of the ongoing Mahaseel festival 2017, have seen a growing demand for organic produce in the country.

The festival, which will continue every weekend until the end of April, features a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants, and other local agricultural products at Katara - the Cultural Village.
Speaking to Gulf Times, a vendor from a Qatari farm said many residents and visitors who come to the festival are always looking for organic products.
"They always ask us if the items we sell are organic, and if we tell them no, then they leave and go to other stalls," he noted. "So we opted to produce more organic, there is really an increasing demand."
Many of the organic produce offered at the festival include tomatoes, cucumbers, string beans, mushrooms, broccoli, capsicum, chilli, lettuce, and other vegetables and fruits.
Another vendor from a Qatari farm shared the same view saying they have been receiving an increasing number of customers who prefer organic produce. The farm has been selling organic vegetables and free range eggs since the start of the festival in January this year.
"Part of our plan is to increase our organic vegetables, but gradually," the vendor said, admitting that they cannot produce in bulk instantly.
He pointed out that many people have become knowledgeable about the health benefits of local organic produce than the imported ones, which arrives in Qatar three days after harvesting.
The festival, organised by Katara in collaboration with Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, has been attracting a large number of visitors since its launch.
Several stalls are also selling snacks and a variety of home-made dishes, fresh meat, perfumes, clothes, and some non-food items. As the festival aims to support and promote Qatar's agricultural and livestock industry, Katara has encouraged residents to patronise locally-produced and high-quality products, sold at reasonable prices.
The festival will also be giving away QR200 worth of coupons to winners of a weekly contest dubbed as "Colour the Sketch."

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