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Next phase of Daman programme for local farmers to start in October
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Next phase of Daman programme for local farmers to start in October

Satyendra Pathak
The new phase of Daman programme will start in October this year and continue till the end of June next year, a senior official of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) said on Monday.   
Addressing a press conference held via video conference to announce the launch of Daman programme for 2020-2021 season, MME Agricultural Affairs Department Director Yousuf Khalid Al Khulaifi said the new phase of Daman will see improvements like the ministry's strategy to extend the agricultural season and focus on producing major crops during the season.  
Launched by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) in cooperation with Mahaseel, Daman programme is aimed at supporting local farms through pre-contracting for purchasing their products and helping farm owners set their production plan according to the needs of the local market.
Khulaifi called on farmers to initiate registration for early pre-contracting with Mahaseel to set their production plans, ensure sale at high guarantee prices and achieve distinct income. He noted that registration is open until October 31, 2020.
The new phase will see farm owners contracting with Mahaseel on 12 types of basic vegetables like tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, pepper deer, eggplant, roman lettuce, American lettuce, gulgelan, parsley, mint, green onion, and dill.
On behalf of the ministry, Khulaifi assured farmers that Mahaseel will buy their vegetable crops throughout the season at guaranteed fixed rates regardless of market prices.
Khulaifi said that Daman programme will continue to encourage farmers to increase vegetable production under a fixed-guarantee price throughout the season, and ensure a stable income for farm owners regardless of price fluctuations.
In addition, he said, the programme will encourage farmers to produce more types of vegetables and increase investment in the agriculture sector.
The ministry is keen to diversify the programme, Khulaifi said adding that the ministry in cooperation with Mahaseel has launched another programme to buy vegetables produced in summer at attractive prices starting from July this year until the end of the summer season. This programme is aimed at extending the agricultural season and encourage farms to produce more, he said.
Mahaseel General Manager Mohamed Ali Al Ghaithani, who also addressed the media, said that more than 15 million kilograms of vegetables were marketed from productive farms in Qatar during the last season. More than 180 farms benefited from the programme's services, he said. 
Through the guarantee programme, the average contract price for basic vegetables will be about QR5 per kg and for foliage about QR6.5 per kg along with fixed-guarantee rates for the first and second class vegetables throughout the season, regardless of market prices, Ghaithani said.    
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