Date palm festival, a chance to market, exchange experience

(Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The fourth International Date Palm Festival started on Monday in Amman under Royal patronage, Al-Mamlaka TV reported. اضافة اعلان

The event is organized by the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Jordan Dates Association.

Minister of Agriculture Khaled Hneifat, deputizing for His Majesty King Abdullah, said that the festival enjoys Royal attention and became a success within three years, providing producers from the Arab world and beyond with the opportunity to exchange experience.

It is also a” stimulating opportunity for creativity and innovation, and an opportunity for date palms to reach countries they did not before”, he said.

Hneifat indicated that the festival is a model of effective cooperation between the public and private sectors.

Effective partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Jordanian Dates Association resulted in holding the festival annually, in addition to developing a first-of-its-kind sectoral strategy, he said.

Jordan’s date cultivation and production sector, especially of “Medjool” dates, is witnessing a significant development in the Jordan Valley.

The annual production of dates of all varieties in Jordan amounts to about 27,000 tonnes, including 15,000 tonnes of “Medjool”, which makes up 14 percent of the global production of this variety, according to Hneifat.

He added that interest in date palm cultivation and in expanding it as an economic investment began in the 1990s; since then, the cultivated areas has increased rapidly, especially after 2000. In 2021, more than 45,000 dunums were cultivated with date palms, most of which of the “Medjool” and “Barhi” variety.

More than 650,000 date palm trees exist in the Kingdom, growing at an annual growth rate of 8 percent to 10 percent, distributed along the Jordan Valley, Aqaba, and Ghor Al-Safi in the southern and eastern areas of the country, and in the Azraq region.

The total areas is expected to reach nearly 5,000 hectares by 2030, yielding up to 50,000 tonnes at an estimated value of $150 million.

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