Muscat, The 6th version of the Omani Dates

Festival, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in

cooperation with the Public Authority for SMEs Development “Riyada”

will be launched tomorrow (Thursday). The Festival includes events,

activities and seminars, the most important of which is that one on the

Omani dates market.

Dr. Fu’ad bin Ja’afar al-Sagwani, Minister of Agriculture and

Fisheries said in a statement that the Omani Dates Festival

compliments the efforts made by the Ministry to develop the

agricultural sector. He added the festival aims at introducing the value

of the Omani dates and raising public awareness on the importance of

dates and date palm trees for Omanis.

He pointed out that the Festival, which will run through from 24

to 31 October, includes a seminar on the Omani dates market. A

number of Omani table and manufactured dates will be displayed. As

more as 70 farmers, factory owners alongside with a number of

relevant public and private organisations will take part at the eight-day

event.

Commenting on the estimates of the local dates production, the

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries said that as per the survey carried

out by the Ministry in 2017, the production is estimated at 361,000 tons

compared to 355,000 tons in 2016 and 344,000 tons in 2015. While

53% of the production went for human consumption, 6% were

exported, which means that 41% of the production can be processed in

the dates factories. It also means that there are many promising

opportunities for dates processing industries.

He also noted that the Ministry has implemented a number of

development programmes to promote production through guidance

and research. The Ministry also distributed 725,000 seedlings to

farmers at the different parts of the Sultanate in the past period to

replace the old date palm trees with new ones known for high

production.

The Ministry also implemented a project for the development of

the packing and packaging units. It provided subsidy for 200 farmers

from the different parts of the Sultanate. It also distributed 750

packaging machines as part of this project. The Ministry also subsided

more than 20 farmers who own dates units at the local and

international festivals. The Ministry also organised visits to countries

that have advanced experiences in dates marketing.

“Throughout the past five years, the Ministry subsidised the

participation of more than 340 farmers, marketing executives, dates

processing factories owners, SMEs and citizens who carry out domestic

work related to dates,” he concluded.

Source: Oman News Agency