The 2019 International Dates Exhibition started Wednesday with the participation of 150 local and international exhibitors specialised in dates production, in addition to a number of local farms and other parties in the state. The exhibition will continue until May 4.
Organised by the Agriculture and Fishery Affairs Department of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) in collaboration with Souq Waqif, the exhibition's aim is to promote local varieties of dates, to identify and supply different types, to attract visitors and tourists and to encourage the conservation and care of the palm tree, in addition to making this event as an annual event linked to the cultural heritage of Qatar.
The exhibition, which was inaugurated by HE the Assistant Undersecretary for Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani, aims at introducing the dates and their products and enhancing the cultural and heritage awareness associated with the palm tree and the importance of its fruits in terms of food and culture, and its increased demand ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.
The ministry's Agricultural Affairs Department Director, Youssef Khalid al-Khulaifi said in a press statement that the exhibition comes days before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan to provide this important commodity for citizens and residents of Qatar, adding that this year's edition includes many countries such as Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Africa, China, Iran.
Al-Khulaifi pointed out that the exhibition provides prices suitable for all, adding that the organising committee has provided great facilities to reduce prices, including the provision of free display areas, in addition to the facilities provided by the sponsors at the level of shipping procedures and the visitors residency.
Al-Khulaifi added that the country has achieved 86% self-sufficiency in dates, and that the ministry organises periodic exhibitions to market local dates, in addition to supporting the owners of farms through the date purchase project, which involves 80 local farms which are selling for the ministry products worth QR10mn, to be donated by Qatar to needy countries, distributed through the authorities concerned such as Qatar Red Crescent Society and Qatar Charity.
With regard to the efforts of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to expand production in this sector, al-Khulaifi pointed out that the ministry will start this year special support mechanism for farmers by providing 100 drying rooms which will be made available free of charge to major producers of dates, adding that years of research proved the effectiveness of those rooms in improving the quality of date products.
The exhibition is being attended by 89 local and 59 foreign companies from 10 countries around the world.