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5th International Jordanian Dates Festival opened

Stakeholders say annual event 'driving force' behind prosperous date palm industry

By JT - Nov 14,2023 - Last updated at Nov 14,2023

Minister of Agriculture Khalid Huneifat inaugurated on Monday the fifth International Festival of Jordanian Dates (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Minister of Agriculture Khalid Huneifat inaugurated on Monday the fifth International Festival of Jordanian Dates.

The festival is organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Jordanian Dates Association (JODA) and the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIAAI), the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Inaugurated the annual festival, Huneifat highlighted the "continued success of the festival year after year", adding that the annual event has had its "positive impact" on improving the Jordanian date palm sector and encouraging famers and producers to excel in the industry. 

He also said that the festival serves as a platform for famers and producers to showcase their products and build networks with international traders and companies interested in importing Jordanian dates.

"Dates production in Jordan is ancient and dates back to more than 3,000 years," the minister said. 

Huneifatalso highlighted the private sector's roles in improving the date palm sector, noting that the Medjool variety has attracted investments of around $500 million and contributed to the employment of 5,000 to 8,000 people, 40 per cent are women.

UAE Ambassador to Jordan Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed Al Nahyan commended the development to Jordanian palm date industry, citing its strategic importance both regionally and globally.

KIAAI Secretary General Abdel Wahab Zayed highlighted the role of the partnership between the award organisers, Jordan and international organisations in ensuring the festival’s success. 

Head of JODA Anwar Haddad said thatdemand for Jordanian dates has increased by 125 per cent compared to previous years, "thanks to the success of the festival's previous editions".

The sector has seen continued expansion as palm farming areas went up from 38,000 to 45,000 dunums, with production increasing from 26,000 to 30,000 tonnes, Haddad said.

He also said that the production capacity of automated facilities for sorting, packing and wrapping dates has increased to around 10,000 tonnes.

Haddad added that that Jordan is 11thglobally in terms of quantity of date exports and 9th in terms of value of exports."There were no reported cases of date exports being rejected by the international market due to non-compliance with international standards."

Winners were awarded in multiple categories during a ceremony on the sidelines of the festival, including best applied scientific research on date palm trees, best production of Medjool dates, best packaging, best food product, the best distinguished date palm farm, best innovation and best packaging house or factory.

 

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