Posted on July 30, 2017

The opening day of the second Local Dates Festival being held at Souq Waqif witnessed around 2,500 visitors and sold about 7,000kg of fresh dates.

The Ministry of Municipality and Environment, organisers of the festival, yesterday said dates displayed on the first day of the festival were sold out including popular local varieties comprising 3,967kg of Khalas, 1,546kg of Shishi, 957kg of Khanizi, 222kg of Barhi and 308kg other varieties.

Still more visitors flocked to the festival yesterday being a weekend. They bought dates in large quantities from 57 stalls offering fresh dates at cheap prices such as Khalas and Shishi which are sold for QR8 per kilo and Khanizi is which is available for QR6 per kilo. Young date palms are also sold at the festival venue for QR250 each. Providing a platform for local farms to sell their produce directly to consumers, this year’s festival saw a huge leap in terms of participation from Qatari farms, from 18 last year to 57 this year. According to the Ministry’s official Twitter account, there are 1,307 registered farms in Qatar, out of which 902 are active farms producing dates. Last year’s total date production of totaled 28,877 tonnes, which was able to meet 81 percent of local demand.

The ten-day festival is part of the country’s initiative in supporting and encouraging cultivation and production of all local produce including dates. It aims to promote various date varieties in the country and encourage farmers to cultivate high quality varieties that could compete locally and internationally through awareness of modern agriculture methods palm trees care. The annual event also provides opportunity for the exchange of technical expertise among farmers as well as the introduction to residents and tourists to the local production of dates, which occupies an important position in Qatari culture and heritage.

During the festival, the Department of Agricultural Affairs and the Agricultural Research Department are providing the public all information related to the services provided by the Ministry in the field of dates production. Posters containing information about the varieties of dates grown in Qatar are displayed around the venue. there is also a handicraft section which displays a number of date palm products and how these products are made.

source: The Peninsula

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