Fruits and vegetables grown in schools gives a big boost to Qatar’s food security drive
Ever since the start of the illegal siege of Qatar, the country has been pushing towards self-sustainability regarding food produced.
It opened up new trade routes, thought out of the box and started a drive to make the country self-reliant. All these steps have begun to show results, with the state recently announcing that it would begin exporting food materials by the end of the year.
This is indeed a huge leap forward by the country, and every little has helped.
Several greenhouses, run by schools in the country in collaboration with Sahtak Awalan -- Your Health First’s Khayr Qatarna programme — has produced tonnes of fruits and vegetables so far, reported Gulf Times.
This has further helped boost national food security and sustainability.
The produce was grown in three greenhouses at secondary schools in Qatar. While Sahtak Awalan runs the greenhouses, the programme teaches schoolchildren about agriculture, logistics, economics, and healthy food. The produce is sold at local supermarkets, with the profits reinvested in the scheme.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and beans were grown and harvested in the last ten months. This year, the crop is set to increase with the setting up of seven more greenhouses across different schools.
With the profits being reinvested in the programme, more and more schools are expected to eventually join the plan.
Nesreen Al Rifai, Chief Communications Officer at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, which runs Sahtak Awalan, said it was a fantastic first year.
“The success of the Khayr Qatarna greenhouses has been beyond our expectations. With the invaluable contribution of all our strategic partners, we’ve helped support national sustainability and provided high school students with lessons about healthy eating, agriculture, economics and logistics,” she was quoted as saying by Qatar Tribune.
Greenhouses are currently operating at Amna bint Wahab School, Osama bin Zaid and Zainab Preparatory School for Girls.
The new schools to be included in the project are Audio Complex for Girls, Audio Complex for Boys, Roqaya Preparatory for Girls, Khalid Bin Ahmed School for Boys, Al Wajba School for Girls, Al Razi School for Boys and Moza Bint Mohammed for Girls.
All greenhouses have been planted with new crops — including strawberries for the first time — and the first harvests of 2019 are expected from the end of this month until mid-March.
Khayr Qatarna was officially launched in February 2018, with the first harvest in March last year.