Khayr Qatarna improves food security and brings fresh, local food to supermarkets

Khayr Qatarna improves food security and brings fresh, local food to supermarkets

Khayr Qatarna, an initiative of the Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First campaign, has harvested its first crop and has begun supplying fresh fruit and vegetables to local supermarkets to help improve food security, increase sustainability, and encourage healthy eating.

Khayr Qatarna is the new phase of the innovative Project: Greenhouse initiative, which has erected greenhouses at more than 130 schools to teach children about healthy eating and cultivating their own food.

The new initiative has seen three large-scale, climate-controlled greenhouses built at three schools in Qatar. These greenhouses are being used to grow fruit and vegetables that are then distributed with Khayr Qatarna branding to the community through local supermarkets. More greenhouses are in the pipeline, and all profits from the scheme will be reinvested in the initiative.

All the crops have been granted the status of ‘Premium Products’ – an indication of their freshness and quality – by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, who have given valuable support and advice to the Khayr Qatarna project. The first crop of cucumbers and tomatoes has now been harvested by local schoolchildren and delivered to local supermarkets Géant at Hyatt Plaza and selected branches of Al Meera, with the help of the Ministry.

Tons of cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, melons and other fruit and vegetables will be grown each year, and students at the schools where the greenhouses are based will help grow them and see how they are cultivated, harvested and distributed, providing valuable lessons in economics, agriculture and logistics. Project: Greenhouse helped educate children about the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables, and encouraged them to try new foods by eating what they had grown, but Khayr Qatarna takes this to a higher level.

Nesreen Al-Rifai, chief communications officer at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, which launched Sahtak Awalan, said: “Sustainability and food security are incredibly important issues and will have a huge impact on future generations. In addition, it is vitally important that we continue to promote healthy eating to our young people.”

Khayr Qatarna was unveiled at Qatar National Convention Center in February in the presence of HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Wahid Al Hammadi, VIPs and more than 1,500 schoolchildren, all of whom have been involved with Project: Greenhouse.

Khayr Qatarna is part of the Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First campaign, which was launched by Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar in 2012 in association with Qatar Foundation, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment, Occidental Petroleum Qatar, ExxonMobil and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.