MME to supply Polycarbonate Drying House to date farms
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) will supply Polycarbonate Drying House (PDH) to date farms with the aim of reducing wastage of local dates and improving marketing quality.
According to Dr. Faleh bin Nasser Al Thani, Assistant Undersecretary for Agriculture and Fisheries Affairs at the MME, the decision was made to reduce the wastage of dates during the drying process and increase its market value.
Moreover, he pointed out that the Ministry will distribute 100 PDHs to date farms starting from the upcoming harvesting season.
The initiative falls within a major part of the Ministry’s plan to improve Qatar’s self-sufficiency rate in fresh food production and food security.
The PDH is a drying chamber cover by a polycarbonate sheet equipped with an exhaust fan. The new technique improves the quality of the dates, especially in humid areas, avoids the contamination of dates by insects, birds, dust, and rain, accelerates the drying process, and reduces the loss rate of dates.
The Agricultural Affairs Department had established polycarbonate houses at Rawdat Al Furs Research Center for experimental purposes.
Following the success of the experiments, representatives of date farms were taken to the center to educate them about the new technique of drying dates.
According to an earlier Ministry report, the project is one of the key researches of the Agricultural Affairs Department that replaces the traditional way of drying dates under the sun and humidity.
While the traditional method used to take between 18 to 20 days and caused significant losses in dates, experiments indicated that drying dates in a polycarbonate house took just three to five days depending on the type of dates.
Furthermore, PDH provides many benefits such as improvement in color and quality, clarity in dates, and fewer losses in dates.
The polycarbonate houses could dry desert herbs and fodder such as fodder cactus and dry palm trees for pollen powder.
A polycarbonate house is similar to a protected house covered with solid polycarbonate (2 mm) and the facility has four rustproof iron racks.
Each rack has two shelves equipped with a wooden frame and the base of a robust plastic net.
Additionally, the house is equipped with a powerful automated exhaust fan to maintain the required temperature inside.
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