Local date production projected at 27,000 tonnes this year
July 17 2021 11:32 PM
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Snapshots from the Local Dates Festival at Souq Waqif. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Snapshots from the Local Dates Festival at Souq Waqif. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam

Date production for this year is projected at 27,000 tonnes, achieving a 76% rate of self-sufficiency, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) has said.
In an infograph posted on social media on Saturday in connection with the ongoing sixth Local Dates Festival at Souq Waqif, the MME said that Qatar's palm tree reserve is estimated at 650,000-700,000 trees, spanning an area of 2.2 hectares.
Roughly 17% of the country's agricultural land (about 13,000 hectares) houses palm trees.
The festival, meanwhile, continued at Souq Waqif with an official stating that more quantities of dates would be available in the coming days.
Ahmed al-Yafai, head of agricultural guidance and services at the MME’s Agricultural Affairs Department, told local Arabic daily *Arrayah that sales on the first day of the festival amounted to around 8,700kg of various types of locally-produced dates.
The festival is being held from July 15-30, taking place every day from 4pm-10pm, amid the observance of coronavirus (Covid-19) measures.
Al-Yafai said that the coming days of the event will see more quantities of dates on display for customers.
He stressed that retail prices at the festival are almost half of what is offered in other places.
The festival has been organised by the MME and Souq Waqif with the participation of some 80 farms from across Qatar.
The ministry explained through the infograph that Qatar imports approximately 10,000 tonnes of dates annually.
In contrast, the country exports multiple types of dates through Hassad Food with its subsidiary Nafco that produces various types of dates.
Founded in 1995, Nafco owns the No. 1 dates factory in Qatar, producing over 2,200 tonnes of dates annually, besides other products.
The festival aims to further improve the marketing of locally-produced dates and encourage farmers to improve the quality of their production and reduce waste in the production process.
 
 



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