The third Local Dates exhibition got under way at Souq Waqif on Thursday, featuring a wide variety of dry dates from local farms.
The event has been organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), represented by the Agricultural Affairs Department, and the Souq Waqif management. It aims to promote Qatari dates and introduce different types of the same while encouraging local farm owners to find an outlet to display and directly market their products.
The exhibition is being held as part of the MME's efforts to have a positive impact on the sales of such products and enhance the ability of local farms to increase production levels and further develop marketing methods for dates.
The event is being held in the Western Square of Souq Waqif until October 23. It will remain open from 3pm to 9pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on the weekend.
The exhibition, which is an opportunity to exchange experiences between the producers and processors of local dates, is being attended by 55 farms from across the country.
Youssef Khaled al-Khulaifi, director of the Agricultural Affairs Department at the MME, said the event features a wide variety of locally grown dates.
He note that the ministry supported farm owners this year with rooms to dry dates in order to enhance the quality of theri products. “A hundred rooms have been distributed so far among farmers. We have trained them to make use of the new facility. The rooms come with high-quality dust-free production facilities and quickly complete the drying process,” he explained, adding that the exhibition is a marketing platform for farm owners.
Further, al-Khulaifi said there is a project to support farmers. “Named the 'Dates festival and dates purchase project', the ministry purchases dates through the project from farmers, which are then distributed to poor countries in co-operation with charities operating in the country,” he said.
He said the produce on display at the exhibition is entirely local, while ensuring that the dates are good, clean and free from defects, molds, insects, impurities and everything that may hinder their marketing.
“They are from the current year's production. A team of specialists from the Agricultural Affairs Department takes samples from the participating farms for examination and analysis to ensure that they are free from toxic substances and the residual effect of pesticides before participation, in addition to taking samples throughout the exhibition days,” he informed.
The official added that the support provided by the MME to farmers and companies working in the field of dates has greatly improved the quality of dates and related products, enabling them to compete with the imported varieties.
Mohamed al-Salem, head of the Old Markets Department at the Private Engineering Office, said in a statement that this edition of the exhibition will be attended by 55 local farms specialized in the production, drying and packing of dates, as all participating parties offer there production of various local varieties and there derivatives for sale during the exhibition period at prices determined by them.
Al-Salem noted that the exhibition venue was prepared with all the necessary supplies and equipment to complete the marketing process by Souq Waqif management while taking into account the official directives of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management and adhering to what was stated in it regarding the precautionary measures taken.