The opening day of the Dates festival is today at Expo 2023 Doha
A local date festival, showcasing 31 exhibitors comprising farms and companies, will commence today at Expo 2023 Doha's International Zone. It will offer diverse date varieties at attractive prices. Ahmed Salem Al Yafei, Head of the Agricultural Guidance and Services Section at the Ministry of Municipality, mentioned, "During the eight-day event, various sought-after dates from local farms like Ikhlas, Shishi, Barhi, and more will be available."
The Ministry of Municipality, in collaboration with the Organising Committee of Expo 2023 Doha, will host and manage the festival.
Al Yafei informed Al Rayyan TV that the festival's schedule runs until November 30, from 4 pm to 10 pm daily. "Participation includes 29 local farms and two Qatari companies focused on date processing and packaging," he added. Additionally, he highlighted that the festival will feature a specialized section by the Agricultural Affairs Department dedicated to educating visitors and farmers about palm tree cultivation.
Al Yafei mentioned that farmers will exhibit samples of palm tree saplings, available for purchase from their farms. Moreover, the Agricultural Affairs Department plans to conduct seminars aimed at educating farmers and enthusiasts about the latest palm tree farming techniques.
Al Yafei highlighted, "In this edition of the local dates festival, the Ministry of Municipality's palm tree plant factory and two date processing and packaging factories have been included." He emphasized that the festival will offer a wide array of popular local date varieties like Ikhals, Shishi, and Barhi, widely favored in Qatar.
The organization of this festival aligns with Qatar's significant focus on endorsing and bolstering local production, including dates, as part of its broader efforts toward achieving food security. It serves the purpose of developing the agricultural sector, particularly palm tree cultivation, supporting farm owners, and enhancing the diversity of dates produced within the country.
The Ministry has consistently supported farmers by providing fertilizers, pollination services, and land preparation assistance to enhance the quality of local dates. To ensure fair returns for farmers' labour and investments, the Ministry arranges festivals dedicated to both fresh and dried dates, allowing direct marketing to customers, thus bypassing intermediaries. This initiative aims to motivate increased production and improved quality among local farmers. Thanks to the support extended by the Agricultural Affairs Department of the Ministry of Municipality, Qatar has achieved 82 percent self-sufficiency in date production, contributing significantly to the country's food security.