The fifth edition of the Jordan International Date Palm Festival will kick off on Monday under Royal patronage, with the participation of over 60 farmers, producers and exporters of dates.
President of the Jordanian Dates Association (JODA), Anwar Haddad, said that the festival will be hosting participants from countries in the region and around the world.
These include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Mexico and Mauritania, he noted.
The event is organised by the Agriculture Ministry, the JODA and the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, according to Haddad.
He pointed out that the festival will allow farmers and producers of dates to connect with around 15 importers from international markets. The three-day festival continues until November 15.
Haddad added that relevant international organisations, such as the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, among others, will take part in the festival.
It is also expected to host representatives of global manufacturers of technologies and equipment related to date palm cultivation and maintenance, who will present the latest advancements in the sector, he said.
“The festival has established itself as a platform for relevant stakeholders from across the region to meet, and exchange their knowledge and expertise in the date palm sector,” added Haddad.
It will feature scientific seminars, discussing the challenges faced by the sector and suggested solutions to overcome them, with a focus on climate change, he noted.
The main challenges faced by the sector in Jordan, include the availability of “skilled labour”, water scarcity, and the threat of agricultural pests, according to Haddad.
He also pointed out that the opening ceremony of the festival will honour winners from Jordan in various award categories, including best produce, best packaging, best farm, best innovation and best scientific research, among others.
Haddad said that there are currently over 750,000 date palm trees in Jordan, cultivated over an area of more than 45,000 dunums, and producing around 30,000 tonnes of dates every year.
The sector’s annual growth rate is between 10 to 12 per cent, he added, noting that Jordanian dates are “in high demand” around the world.
He said that the Kingdom exports around 14,000 tonnes of dates to over 15 countries, primarily the UAE, followed by Qatar, and Morocco. Other major importers of Jordanian dates include the UK, Kuwait, France and Holland.
Source: Jordan Times