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 and introduce Qatari dates 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 positively impact the sales of such products and enhance the ability of local farms to increase production levels and further develop marketing methods.
The event is being held in the Western Square of Souq Waqif until October 23.
It is open from 3pm-9pm on weekdays, and from 3pm-10pm on the weekend.
The exhibition, which is also an opportunity for the producers and processors of local dates to exchange experiences, 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 noted that the ministry supported farm owners this year with space to dry dates in order to enhance the quality of their products.
“A hundred rooms have been allocated so far among farmers. We have trained them to make use of the new facility,” he said. “The rooms come with high-quality dust-free production facilities, and quickly complete the drying process.”
Al-Khulaifi added that 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.
The official said that the products on display at the exhibition are entirely local, and that efforts have been made to ensure that the dates are good, clean and free from defects, mold, insects, impurities and other factors that may hinder their marketing.
“They are from the current year's production. A team of specialists from the Agricultural Affairs Department took 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,” Al-Khulaifi said.
The official added that the support provided by the MME to farmers and companies working in the sector 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 that specialise in the production, drying and packing of dates.
He noted that the exhibition venue has been prepared with all the necessary supplies and equipment to complete the marketing process by the Souq Waqif management, while taking into account the official directives of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management and adhering to coronavirus (Covid-19) precautionary measures.