* Last year, the sale stood at more than 250 tonnes and we are expecting a good sale during this episode of the festival as the number of participating farms has gone up —Adel al-Kaldi al-Yafei, MME
The sixth edition of the Local Dates Festival started at Souq Waqif Thursday, featuring varieties of delicious fresh dates that drew many date lovers on the opening day.
With the participation of around 80 farms from across Qatar, the festival is organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Souq Waqif management. Running until July 30, the festival offers various varieties including Al Khalas, Al Shishi, Al Khenaizi, Al Barhi, Al Saqai, Nabt Saif, Al Lulu and Al Razizi.
Assistant director of the Agricultural Affairs Department at MME Adel al-Kaldi al-Yafei told Gulf Times that the festival will be a big draw this year with more sales and public participation. “Last year, the sale stood at more than 250 tonnes and we are expecting a good sale during this episode of the festival as the number of participating farms has gone up,” al-Yafie said.
The festival aims to help local farmers get direct access to customers and make locally grown products popular. Al-Yafie noted that MME is implementing several schemes while supporting the local date farmers. These, according to him, include providing electricity, technical support, export advice and subsidies for farming. “The festival helps local date farming grow while giving them a venue to get a better market for their products,” he said.
Manager Mohamed Abdullah al-Salem said Souq Waqif will host another dates festival in November. He said the festival ensures the development of the agriculture sector while helping consumers buy good quality fresh dates at moderate prices. He added that the festival is held while keeping all Covid-19 precautionary measures in place.
Director of Business Relations at Hassad Food Mubarak al-Sahuti hailed MME and Souq Waqif management for organising the festival, noting that it’s an opportunity for local farmers to prospser while it helps customers get good, fresh locally grown dates. He added Hassad is supporting farmers and markets process dates after procuring them from local farmers. Hassad has a stall in the festival where dates and date syrup are sold.