Major retailer of the region LuLu Hypermarket chain has launched Qatar Dates Week festival on Monday in all its stores across the country to celebrate the season of local dates in co-operation with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME). The festival runs until August 30.
In a virtual ceremony, MME’s Agricultural Affairs and Fisheries undersecretary Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani inaugurated the festival. Present during the occasion were Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s undersecretary for consumer affairs Sheikh Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, MME’s Agricultural Affairs Department director Yousef Khaled al-Khulaifi, Qatar Chamber board member Mohamed bin Ahmed Mohamed Ali al-Obaidli, Paramount Farm chairman and managing director Bader Ahmad I S Alemadi, Ajaj Farm chairman and managing director Ahmed al-Ajjaj, MME’s agriculture adviser Dr Mohamed Awad, LuLu Hypermarket Qatar director Dr Mohamed Althaf and many distinguished Qatari farm owners and other dignitaries from the MME, and retail/FMCG sectors.
Leading participating suppliers of the festival, such as Al-Rayyan Agricultural, Al Safwa Marketing, Al Adekhar Agriculture, Heirs of Ahmed Rashid Farm 649, Simsima Real Estate, Wahat Al Shafalahia, Paramount Agricole Co, Arab Qatari, Arab Qatar for Agricultural Produce and Farm No.724 Ajaj Kubaisi also attended the virtual ceremony.
The festival has been organised with a view to support local farmers by ensuring better marketing opportunities and value for their agricultural produce.
It is estimated that approximately 1.5mn date palms of various unique indigenous varieties are cultivated in bulk large across the country, and 850 full-fledged farms known to exist. According to the statistics available, it contributes a gross produce of 26,000 tonnes in a season, which constitutes 86% of the total market requirements. The advancement made by the agricultural sector in recent years, as a result of the challenges posed by various factors, has made the nation self-sufficient and self-reliant in many ways.
The popular local varieties namely Tamar Khalas, Tamar Shaishi, Rathub Khalas, Rathub Shaishi, Rathub Barhee, Rathub Khanzi, Rathub Nabit and Rathub Lulu etc. are made available on display at highly subsidised rates.
Inaugurating the festival Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani recalled that LuLu Hypermarket have been promoting and supporting Qatar national products and Qatari farms’ fruits and vegetables.
“I am very happy to point out that LuLu was the first one who promoted local farms’ products in co-operation with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment,” he added.
Speaking on the initiative, Dr Althaf said, “We are quite happy with the co-operation and support being extended by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, farm owners and Qatar Chamber. During this extra time of global emergency and disruption in the supply chain, Qatar navigated the crisis with great resilience and confidence. There were no major price hikes, no shortages and non-availability of essentials.
This could not have been possible with the exemplary performance by the local farms and solid support given to them by the ministry.
“Such festivals will be instrumental in establishing a platform to deepen and broaden our partnership with the Qatari farmers. Over the last few years Qatar Dates Festival has become bigger and better, highlighting the huge demand for quality Qatari dates”.
Lulu Hypermarkets have always been a dedicated promoter of Qatari food and non-food products and local agricultural produce. Every year they have been organising promotions such as ‘Made in Qatar Festival’, ‘Qatari Products our First Choice’, ‘Festival of Qatari Premium Products’ and ‘Festival of Qatari Farm Products’ .