DOHA: Stalls selling sea-fresh fish, live chickens from smaller local poultry farms are some of the latest additions to the sprawling outdoors fresh vegetables and fruits market on the outskirts of the city.
Open throughout the day, three days a week during the winter months, the market, Al Mazroua, is near Umm Salal and is run by the Ministry of Environment.
The initiative was launched last year with the twin aim of promoting locally produced farm-fresh vegetables, and making them available at cheaper rates.
Recently, six outlets have been added to the market that are selling fresh fish supplied directly by fishermen. Each outlet has been allocated to a fisherman.
Open spaces have been created with fences to sell livestock, including sheep and goat.
And the highlight is that the livestock is locally bred which carry a premium and is in high demand.
“We have created 20 enclosures for livestock retailing in the sprawling outdoors market,” said Abdul Rahman Hassan Al Sulaiti, Supervisor of Markets at the ministry.
Each enclosure has 15 livestock at a time. Besides, there is an area where live, locally bred chickens are sold.
Al Sulaiti said since the opening of the chicken corner, the demand has gone up and more than 2,100 chickens have been sold.
As for fresh vegetables that farm owners from all over the country bring to the market for sale, 10 new farms have been added, he added.
“We now have products coming to us from 56 farms and the number of outlets has been increased to 34 from 24,” he added.
Al Sulaiti said this year the market (that opened early last November) has been vastly expanded due to increasing demand.
“We have been able to sell some 9,200 boxes of fresh vegetables this year. This shows how much is the demand for farm-fresh products here.”
Demand for fish is feverish, said the official.
“There is huge turnout of buyers for fresh fish. Catches are brought directly from the sea by the six fishermen. And the fish is not only fresh, but also cheaper,” he said.
Four poultry farms are bringing their chickens to the market for sale, and their demand is also too high.
“What we are doing here is make sure that for people who come here to buy vegetables and fruits, it should be a one-stop shop for all fresh food products,” said Al Sulaiti.