MUSCAT: Al Hamra market is buzzing with activity these days as the season of harvesting mountain fruits has got under way with many buyers and sellers converging at the marketplace from all over the Wilayat of Al Hamra. Plum, which is grown in Jabal Shams, Kadar and Misfat Al Khawatir — to mention but a few—from where it is brought to Al Hamra market and sold via auction. The first plum harvest was sold at a high price of two or more RO per one kilo.
Home-grown water melon, sweet melon as well as plum are much sought after by buyers because for them the sweet taste is guaranteed for sure. Such an excellent reputation has encouraged the farmers to bring larger quantities to the market particularly after the export of these products was affected by the negative attitude of importers in some neighbouring countries following unfounded rumours about higher than permitted levels of pesticide residues. Following a series of lab tests, the ministry of agriculture and fisheries declared that all varieties of home-grown as well as imported melon products are safe for consumption.
The first harvest of fresh dates of the variety locally dubbed Naghal is in high demand at this time of the year. Buyers form all over the Sultanate and neighbouring countries flock to the market of Dima W’attayeen hoping to find a handful of dates displayed for sale no matter how expensive they are. At this time of the year when the harvest season is not yet in full swing one date was sold for RO five and three kilogrammes fetched RO 150 in auctions.