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Farmers’ Market championing local products

The 11th edition of the Bahraini Farmers’ Market has opened its gates at the picturesque Budaiya Botanical Garden, heralding the arrival of a vibrant flock of Bahraini farmers, brands, and craftsmen. This year’s theme, “Champions of local products,” serves as a testament to the dedication of Bahraini farmers towards providing sustainable, diverse, and high-quality local products.

The market, a celebration of Bahrain’s agricultural heritage and craftsmanship, showcases the rich diversity of locally grown produce, artisanal goods, and unique creations from talented craftsmen. As visitors stroll through the market’s bustling walkways, they are greeted by an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade delicacies, handcrafted wares, and an assortment of locally sourced products.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture, in collaboration with the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD), played a pivotal role in orchestrating the market’s opening, ensuring that all participants were well-prepared to offer an enriching experience to visitors. An introductory meeting was convened, providing a platform for organisers to impart essential guidelines and insights aimed at enhancing the overall market experience.

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NIAD Secretary General Shaikha Maram bint Isa Al Khalifa had earlier stated that the market was undergoing a major revamp, with the support of stc Bahrain, to develop its various facilities ahead of the opening. The development aimed at improving the market’s various aspects and expanding it so that it could accommodate the largest number of Bahraini farmers in a way that supported Bahraini products and contributes to enhancing food security in Bahrain, according to Shaikha Maram.

The development took place in two phases. The first phase included the development of the areas devoted to farmers, the traditional market, food, and children, in addition to the bathrooms, the handicrafts and “Kashta” areas, the entrances, and parking spaces. Buses have also been provided to transport market visitors from the parking lots to the market.

The second phase, to be implemented in January 2024, will include the development of the lake, theatre, games area, training workshops, and palm oasis areas.

Shaikha Maram indicated that the infrastructure of the farmers’ market has also been developed comprehensively, giving the market a new identity and providing more facilities to farmers and visitors, which will offer the latter a unique shopping experience. Electrical generators have been replaced with electricity, shopping aisles have been developed and maintained, and 12 more bathrooms have been added, while existing restrooms have been maintained and special bathrooms for people of determination have been prepared.

“The development and modernisation will benefit all aspects of the market, which will create a new visual identity, commensurate with its importance as an event aimed at supporting national products, developing the agricultural sector, and consolidating the kingdom’s food security,” she said.

“The visitors to this year’s Bahraini Farmers’ Market will have a different experience, as the capacity of the parking lots has been increased to accommodate the largest possible number of visitors, transportation buses will be provided, and chairs and shaded seating areas have been increased.”

Thirty-three farmers’ pavilions have been developed, four new sections for nurseries have been created, and 15 new pavilions for small projects and productive families have been established. The craftsmen’s area has also been developed, and 17 new platforms for restaurants have been added.

She affirmed that the revamp of the market reflects the interest of the government, led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, in boosting the kingdom’s agricultural sector, which also enjoys the constant follow-up of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of HM the King and President of the NIAD Advisory Council.

Shaikha Maram expressed confidence that the 11th edition will achieve outstanding success. It will also confirm the importance of cooperation among the relevant authorities to support the kingdom’s food security, she added.

The market’s opening at the Budaiya Botanical Garden not only signifies a celebration of Bahrain’s agricultural prowess but also serves as a testament to the nation’s commitment to promoting sustainable practices and fostering a thriving local economy. As the market continues to unfold, it stands as a vibrant testament to the dedication and ingenuity of Bahraini farmers, brands, and craftsmen, showcasing their unwavering commitment to providing the finest local products to the community.

Agriculture and Marine Resources Under-Secretary Khalid Ahmed Hassan highlighted the market’s role in bolstering local products and enhancing food security, underscoring its importance in advancing the goals outlined in the National Food Security Strategy. Agricultural Affairs Assistant Under-Secretary Organising Committee chairman Mohammed Mirza Al Oraibi emphasised the efforts made to display products innovatively while using materials reflecting local agricultural identity.

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