Doha: The 6th Mahaseel Festival which started yesterday at Katara spotlights the best of Qatar's agricultural and food products.
As many as 39 companies are participating in the festival this year — 25 local farms; seven poultry, meat and dairy producers; and seven nurseries. There are also six food stalls selling pastries, crepes, tea, and juices.
The festival was inaugurated by Cultural Village Foundation, Katara General Manager, Prof. Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti; and Director of Agricultural Affairs Department, Ministry of Municipality, Yousef Khalid Al Khulaifi, along with other officials, owners and representatives of the participating companies.
Al Sulaiti said the festival supports and promotes the culture of consuming local agricultural and food products which meet the highest quality and competitive standards. He commended the farms and companies participating in the festival. Al Sulaiti said Katara’s Mahaseel festival is a confirmation of the foundation’s support to farmers in marketing their products to the public. Katara opened a Farmers’ Forum Office at its premises in 2019, which brings owners of farms together in exchanging experiences, and providing activities, workshops and seminars, contributing to local agricultural production development.
Al Khulaifi said the festival is an important platform in educating the public about the significance of the demand for local products.
Various stalls offer a wide range of varieties of local vegetables, fruits, flowers, edible plants, dates, and honey among others. The 25 local farms have arrayed different products to the public’s delight. Major local producers participating in the festival include Baladna, Mazzraty, and Raw’a.
Prices of all the products are displayed at the stalls.
Over 47 types of vegetables and fruits are available at the event. They include radish, parsley, coriander, dill, mint, ginger, thyme, onion, jute mallow, spinach, basil, carrot, beetroot, tomato, and cherry tomato.
Cucumber, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, chili, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, beans, okra, watermelon, melon, and sweet corn are also available.
Prices range from QR3 to QR10 per kilo depending on the type of produce.
If you are looking for something sweet, honey and dates stalls are also stationed.
Talking to The Peninsula exhibitors said they were expecting to have more visitors especially after working hours, usually 5pm onwards, and on the weekend.
They said their sales shoot up on weekends as the public has more time to look and shop around.
Most of them have been participating since 2016 when the first edition was held. Mohamad Rasel from Al Kharsaah, an exhibitor for a flower and plant shop, said their daily sales average is between QR3,000 to QR5,000.
“We are anticipating that more people will be coming this weekend. Unlike the previous years, we have seen a huge turnout of people. Because of COVID-19, people were reluctant but now that the government has loosened up restrictions, they are confident to go out because they know they are safe,” he said.
Ashley Labrador from Abu Saif Apiaries and Café said they are offering different kinds of honey products, from honeycomb, table honey, honey spoon to honey wax candle which is shaped like a honeycomb. “A lot of customers are coming in even on the first day. I think the location plays a big role in it – it’s in Katara; besides it are hotels where guests can walk towards here,” she said.
Locally-produced honey costs QR100 for 250 grams; half kilo is QR180; and one kilo is QR350. Candles made with honey wax is priced at QR15 for two pieces; pollen for QR50 and QR100. “You’ll be amazed that honey wax candle lasts longer compared to regular candle, and we have natural and scented type depending on your liking,” she explained.
Doha Dates exhibitor Mohammad said that their sales keep on increasing each year that they participated in the festival. The products they are offering include packs of dates, individually-served dates, dates syrup, dates paste, dates with fruits and chocolate coated dates. Prices are from QR18 to QR43.
Add an addition to your home garden; ornamental and edible plants are likewise available where you can buy a flower for as low as QR1. Herbs and spices like rosemary, mint, thyme, and parsley can also be purchased from QR10 to QR35.
Unlike the previous editions, there will be no activities such as workshops and games during the week-long festival in adherence to COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Mahaseel Festival will run until March 12, Saturday. Meanwhile, the Mahaseel Souq will continue until May 15 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It is open from 9am to 9pm.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar