Dates Festival At Souq Waqif Concludes Today| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 04 October 2022 11:26 GMT

Dates Festival At Souq Waqif Concludes Today


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joelyn Baluyut | The Peninsula

The 7th Local Dates Festival concludes will conclude today at Al Ahmad Square in Souq Waqif.

Over 81 local farms taking part, offering a variety of local date varieties. The Department of Agricultural Affairs of the Ministry of Municipality organised the 15-day event. The festival will be open today from 3pm to 9pm.

The Ministry said earlier that the country had reached 82 percent self-sufficiency in dates. The percentage is higher than it was two years ago, when it was 76 percent. This success is attributed to the department's assistance to farmers, which includes services for pollination, preparing lands, and enhancing date quality.

The government gives farmers a platform to sell their goods directly to consumers through the annual festival. 

Since day one, the festival has attracted a large number of people to buy numerous dates products, including cakes, jams, and milkshakes, to name a few. Aside from this, locally produced fruits including figs and lemons are featured for the first time to assess if the farmers are all set for this kind of demand.

After the trial's success, a separate festival will be conducted for fruit farms. Dates are not only considered a fruit but a part of the culture of Qatar, a festival participant said. 

Dates are served at all events in the region, and are the most important agricultural crop in desert lands of Qatar.“The date palms are one of the oldest trees, distributed throughout the region that provide suitable climatic conditions for the growth of the trees. Dates are the first agricultural export product of Qatar.”

Several residents and visitors lauded the 7th edition of the festival. Rekha, an Indian expat, said she was surprised to see the varieties of dates.“This festival is an outstanding avenue, especially to the public to learn about and taste Qatari dates. The venue is also perfect because it's easily accessible, via taxi or metro.”

Mujahed, from Al Wakra, said:“When we think about dates, it's always associated with fasting. We eat it first after breaking the fast. The festival has exposed and further promoted dates in general to local and tourists alike. It's not only something you eat occasionally or during Ramadan, but it can be part of your meal plan.”

According to Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, dates are the first agricultural export product of Qatar, amounting up to 16,500 metric tonnes per year in 2003.

“They are an important source of nutrition in the food diet of the local population in Qatar. Fresh dates are rich in simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. On consumption, they replenish energy quickly to the body. Hence, they are used commonly to break the fast during the month of Ramadan in Qatar and surrounding regions,” it explained.

Dates are low in fat and high in carbohydrates and other elements, rich in macroelements mainly potassium, phosphorous, calcium, chlorine and magnesium and have appreciable quantities of microelements essentially iron, manganese, copper and zinc. 

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