The second edition of the Local Dates Exhibition, organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Souq Waqif, got underway yesterday. A total of 56 local farms are participating in the event, up from 46 in the first edition, along with Hassad Food and other entities. A number of senior MME officials took part in the launch of the festival alongside representatives from the Souq Waqif management. The festival, taking place at Souq Waqif until October 26, displays a variety of dates that comply with the standards and regulations set by the MME. Yousuf Khalid al-Khulaifi, director of the MME’s Department of Agriculture Affairs, stressed that the ministry pays special attention to dates as it is among the most important crops related to food security. A statement from the MME also noted that the ministry buys dates valued at around QR10mn from farms annually. PICTURES: Supplied & Ram Chand