The 4th edition of Mahaseel (Arabic word meaning ‘harvest’) Festival at Katara has introduced a unique initiative aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of home farming.
“We are a voluntary, non-profit initiative that comes within the promotion of social responsibility and aims to increase agricultural awareness of all women at all levels and engage them in the farming and food industries, as well as increasing the percentage of self-sufficiency and domestic food security,” Maryam al-Dosari, founder of the initiative dubbed as ‘Gharsa’, said in a statement.
A large number of shoppers throng Mahaseel Festival at Katara
An array of local food options on offer at Mahaseel
“We work to support agricultural innovation, and we seek to revive the popular agricultural heritage, even if it is simple, and to benefit from the experiences of our mothers,” she added.
Gharsa is a women association in Doha that aims to enhance women approach to home gardening and encourage its members to create a garden in their houses.
Currently, al-Dosari noted that the initiative currently presents 10 products by several women, and constantly working to develop their hobby and surround them with technical foundations, as well as encourage the transfer of experiences.
While Mahaseel is Gharsa’s first public participation and meeting, she said the initiative received positive feedback and lauded by festival-goers, thanks to Katara – the Cultural Village and the Ministry of Municipal and Environment.
The latest edition of the festival showcases a wide range of fresh produce and other agricultural products from local farms spread over 34 pavilions at Katara’s southern area (opposite of St Regis Doha).
Items on offer are of high quality and sold at competitive prices, attracting a large number of customers from different parts of Doha.
Local farm owners taking part in the festival lauded Katara's efforts in supporting local farmers and their products, particularly in this fourth edition of the market.
According to the organisers, the number of participants continuously increases every year, which contributes in introducing locally-sourced products.
Mahaseel, thru the “Farmers’ Forum”, also provides an opportunity for farm owners to further develop their products and address some of the challenges they face.