More than 100 local farms will take part in the 9th Local Dates Festival, which is to be held at Souq Waqif from July 23 to August 3.Organised by Souq Waqif Management in cooperation with the Agricultural Affairs Department of the Ministry of Municipality, the festival will be held in the eastern square of Souq Waqif where it will have wide participation from the local farms.Mohamed Abdullah al-Salem, director of Souq Waqif, said all necessary arrangements have been made at Souq Waqif to host the festival. An air-conditioned tent has been built. The festival will be open to the public from 4pm to 9pm. On Friday, the festival will be held from 4pm to 10pm.Al-Saleem said the management is keen to organise the exhibition annually in order to support the local farms. “Souq Waqif is distinguished as a prominent and important heritage and tourism destination for citizens, residents and tourists alike. Also, its distinguished location in the centre of Doha makes access to it easy for everyone,” he explained adding that the current edition of the festival witnesses wide participation from local farms with all types of date products that are produced locally in addition to the sale of date syrup.“The festival has a great reputation. The previous edition witnessed record sales of 220 tonnes and we expect to exceed this number in this edition due to the high quality of Qatari dates,” al-Salem added.Yousef Khaled al-Khulaifi, Director of the Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality, said the exhibition, in its 9th edition, aims to promote date production and introduce its various types. “It encourages local farm owners to find an outlet to display and market their date produce directly to the public in a way that reflects positively. It increases their sales volume and enhances their ability to increase production and develop its marketing method,” al-Khulaifi said.The organising committee also set a set of conditions for participation in the exhibition. The dates must be good, clean and free of infection, insects, and impurities. A team of specialists from the Agricultural Affairs Department will also take samples of the wetlands of the participating farms for examination and analysis in order to ensure that they are free of toxic substances and any remaining traces of pesticides.The festival underlines the great interest that Qatar shows in supporting and encouraging local production with the aim of supporting efforts aimed at achieving food security and prompting the agricultural sector.