First Ramadan bazaar big hit

HUNDREDS of shoppers yesterday flocked to the Bahraini Farmers Market for the opening of its first-ever special weekly Ramadan Night Bazaar at the Budaiya Botanical Garden.

A new holy month-themed evening attraction also included a promotional area for Bahraini Productive Families and Export Bahrain, eating out spaces serving traditional cuisine, alongside displays of local artworks and handicrafts.

Beekeepers kept honey-lovers happy alongside the numerous regular stalls selling fresh vegetables grown by local farmers set out once more to meet increasing public demand, according to acting under-secretary for agriculture and marine resources affairs Dr Khalid Hassan.

“There were a combination of calls to continue running the popular event during Ramadan from visitors, farmers, productive families and exhibitors alike,” he said.

“This time of the year is high season for crops and, with Ramadan, there remains a genuine demand for products, mostly fresh vegetables.

“It would have been wasteful to end the market season too early and risk farmers incurring a loss.

“Since opening the first farmers market back in 2012 we have recorded 200,000 visitors and we have recently witnessed unprecedented numbers in the run-up to the holy month.”

The seasonal market, under the theme ‘Our Bahraini Harvest’ should have concluded a week ago. However, it will continue to open on Saturday from 1pm to 6pm, rather than early in the morning.

The extra night bazaar will also be staged on the next two Saturdays of Ramadan, from 8.30pm to midnight, organised by the Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture Ministry, in partnership with the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD).

Farmer Jaffar Dhaif, 61, said the success of the spring harvest deserves to be celebrated in style.

“It is not just about the high amount of produce being produced, it’s about the ripeness and quality too. The vegetables are in the best shape possible,” he said.

“Much of the demand last night was for salads and stew ingredients like pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and broccoli.

“This is the first time we have staged a night market during Ramadan and the flow of people has been amazing – let’s hope it continues over the next couple of weeks.”

The stalls feature the produce of 32 individual farmers and five plant nurseries, with four set aside for bee hive owners, as well as space for agricultural companies and date producers, besides 20 Productive Families and local businesses and artists. This year’s edition also includes a dedicated children’s corner, where Saeed (meaning happy), the ministry’s children’s mascot, helps keep younger members of the family entertained.




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