The world’s largest dates festival opened here yesterday with farmers and venders presenting a variety of products worth millions of riyals. Sales during the 90-day event this year is expected to cross SR 1 billion.
Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, who inaugurated the festival as well as the Date Palm Center in Buraidah, thanked the government for its generous support to date farmers and companies in the province.
“I am very happy to see the tremendous progress achieved by the Buraidah Dates Festival over the years. It helps marketing this vital product not only in the Kingdom but all over the world,” the governor said.
Prince Faisal said his governorate would do everything possible for the development of date palm farming in the region and conducting research on date palms. “We’ll make it a major source of economy,” he added.
The governor distributed prizes to winners of the best farm; outstanding service to dates and date palms; and the best scientific work on dates and datße palms. He also honored the festival’s sponsors and prominent participants.
During the 90-day festival around 300,000 tons of dates will be sold, reaching a combined sales figure of more than SR 1 billion. Last year the festival saw sales reaching SR 800 million.
“This is the peak season for dates and more than 2,000 vehicles are coming to Buraidah daily to sell thousands of tons of dates,” said Khaled Al-Naqeedan, CEO of Buraidah Dates Festival.
Sukkari is the most popular variety of dates being sold in the market, accounting for 80 percent of total sales. Good quality white and red Sukkari dates are sold from SR 50 per box. The prices will go up to SR 270, based on quality. Other types of dates include Hashishi, Aseela, Rothana and Al-Khalas.
Saudi Arabia has the highest number of palm trees in the world with more than 23 million accounting for 20 percent of world production. There are more than 6 million date palms in Qassim province alone.
From : Arabnews