In a clear sign that the blockade has failed to have any adverse effect on normal life in the country, both the wholesale and retail sections at the central fruit and vegetable market in Abu Hamour are packed with fresh produce of different varieties.
These items are coming by both air and sea cargo and sold at reasonable prices, especially for this time of the year.
The market is not lacking either in variety or quantity, and the supply is good enough to meet the demand, Gulf Times has learnt. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables are arriving in Doha from places around the world, including countries in Europe, Iran, Turkey, Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, India, Pakistan other nations in Asia as well as Latin America, New Zealand and Australia.
In addition, local products of different types are available in the market at reasonable prices, such as sweet melons, vegetables and dates, among others.
“The prices are quite reasonable for most types of imported farm produce,” said a customer at the market. “There is a lot of good-quality, fresh stuff to choose from now.”
A visit to the wholesale market yesterday revealed that the price of tomatoes is particularly low, with high-quality varieties available there in large quantities. These are mostly from Iran, packed in boxes of different sizes – weighing from around 5kg to 15kg. Prices start at QR10 for the small boxes with vendors willing to further reduce the rates when two or more boxes are bought.
“It appears that the supply of tomatoes exceeds the demand,” said another customer.
In the adjacent retail section, tomatoes were being sold at QR6 per kg.
Similarly, various types of Jordanian and Iranian cucumber, all fresh and of high quality, were seen at the market in good quantities with prices starting from less than QR25 for a box of 7kg. For Iranian lettuce, a big box was being sold for QR15.
Pineapple from the Philippines cost QR20-30 for a box of eight pieces depending on the quality, while banana from the same country was priced at QR30-50 for a box of around 15kg. Grapes, meanwhile, cost QR9-30 depending on the variety and quantity, with Iranian cherries priced at QR50 for a box of eight packets of around 250gm each. Each packet cost QR8 separately.
In other items, red cabbage was being sold for QR10 for a box of around nine pieces, while a box of coriander weighing around 2kg cost QR20-30. Also, eggplants were available for QR15 for a box of 5kg.
Plumes were priced at QR20-30 depending on the quantity, while sweet melons (both local and imported) started at QR15 for some 6-7 pieces and Iranian melons cost less than QR10 per piece (of average size).
Oranges of different types and origins – including Lebanon, Turkey and other places – were also on offer and the same applied to different types of apple.
The market is open to the public daily from the early morning until around 11am with its fresh supply. Prices can be brought down further depending on negotiations with sellers.
Vendors are expecting more fresh supplies to arrive on a regular basis, which would reduce prices further.