AMMAN — Olive and olive oil production is expected to be higher this season compared to last year, an agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday.
“Rainfall during the last wet season was heavier than the year before; therefore, based on initial indicators we expect this olive season to be a very good one,” Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin told The Jordan Times.
During this year’s harvest, which runs from October through December, the ministry expects olive production to reach 232,990 tonnes, compared to 174,514 tonnes last year, Haddadin said.
This season’s olive oil production is expected to reach 35,536 tonnes, while it amounted to 26,929 tonnes last year, he added.
Salem Obeidat, who owns a farm in Irbid, was also upbeat about this season’s crop.
“I am optimistic about olive production this year. I expect it to be much better than last year,” he told The Jordan Times.
“Last year’s rainfall was strong and this will positively affect our produce for this year,” added Obeidat, whose farm has 600 olive trees.
Noting that Jordan is the world’s eighth largest producer of olive oil, Haddadin said the Kingdom exports olive oil to several countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the US.
“The quality of the Kingdom’s olive oil is high and it enjoys a good reputation across the globe,” Haddadin added.
The average per capita consumption of olive oil in Jordan stands at about 3.43 kilogrammes per year, and the country’s overall annual consumption stands at about 21,773 tonnes, according to the ministry official.
Agriculture ministry figures indicate that there are around 20 million olive trees in Jordan, with average exports worth JD20 million per year.
A total of 125 olive oil presses are spread across the country, especially in the central and northern regions, with an investment volume exceeding JD200 million.