Your Health First held its first ‘Harvest Day’ event to celebrate the harvest of fresh fruit and vegetables grown in Qatar under the Khayr Qatarna initiative, which aims to boost the country’s self-sufficiency and encourage healthy eating.
Officials from Qatar Foundation, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, ExxonMobil Qatar, and Occidental Petroleum Qatar, were at the Harvest Day event at Amna bint Wahab Preparatory School for Girls to see students bring in a basket full of fresh tomatoes.
Harvests at nine other schools participating in Khayr Qatarna also yielded plentiful crops of fruit and vegetables including strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, red cabbage and green beans. All crops have been granted the status of ‘Premium Products’ – an indication of freshness and quality – by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
All produce were grown in large-scale climate-controlled greenhouses installed at the schools by Your Health First as part of the Khayr Qatarna initiative. The initiative, which was launched in 2018, aims to help make a positive contribution to Qatar’s self-sufficiency. The initiative also teaches students valuable lessons about healthy eating, agriculture, environmental awareness, and sustainability issues. Students are also learning about key business operations, such as logistics, commerce and economics, helping the younger generation gain the knowledge required to achieve the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. Harvest Day will now be held each year to celebrate the bringing in of harvested homegrown crops.
Khayr Qatarna’s Successful Initiative
Your Health First is a flagship public health campaign of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q). Large-scale greenhouses were installed initially at three secondary schools in Qatar, part of the Khayr Qatarna’s pilot programme. Khayr Qatarna has proven such a success that the project was expanded and there are now a total of 10 greenhouses in operation at 10 schools. Khayr Qatarna itself grew out of Your Health First’s extremely popular Project Greenhouse initiative, which saw smaller greenhouses installed at more than 130 elementary schools all over Qatar.
The fruit and vegetables grown in the greenhouses are distributed with Khayr Qatarna branding to the community through local supermarkets and also among the students’ families and their communities. All proceeds from sales are reinvested in the project to allow for further expansion.
Visit qatar-weill.cornell.edu for updates and more information about Your Health First and Khayr Qatarna programme.