Deputising for King Abdullah, Minister of Agriculture and Environment Ibrahim Shahahdeh on Sunday inaugurated the 1st international date festival, organised by the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, Ministry of Agriculture and the Jordan Dates Association (JODA) in cooperation with concerned international organisations.
At the opening ceremony, Shahahdeh said that the festival aims to showcase the various types of dates, especially “Medjoul”, and to provide a platform for farmers, producers and international buyers to sign contracts, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Known as “Medjoul”, the Jordanian dates or “king of dates” is a popular type of dates famous for their high quality and sweet taste.
Shahahdeh said that there are around 500,000 palm trees in Jordan producing approximately 14 per cent of Medjoul dates, according to Petra.
The minister also said that the festival is a chance to exchange expertise and discuss challenges facing the production and manufacturing of dates through the specialised, scientific workshops that will be organised on the sidelines of the event with the participation of international experts in the field, Petra said.
Heading her country's delegation to the event, UAE Minister of State for Future Food Security Mariam Bent Mohammed Almheiri described the festival as one of the "success stories" of cooperation between the UAE and Jordan.
Almheiri, who later on Sunday met with Prime Minister Omar Razzaz over cooperation, added that the festival was also part of the Jordanian-UAE cooperation in enhancing food security and development and utilisation of natural resources.
The UAE Ambassador to Jordan Matar Shamsi said that the festival coincided with his country's celebration of the “Year of Zayed”, marking 100 years since the birth of the country's Founding Father late Sheikh Zayed.
Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary General of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, highlighted the partnership between the award and various stakeholders in improving the dates production in Jordan, according to Petra.
JODA President Anwar Haddad said that including Jordan in the list of date producing countries in 2017 was the culmination of joint efforts between the public and private sectors , adding that the festival aims at promoting the Jordanian dates at the local and international markets.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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