The festival will have a quantity of activities which includes seminars and the sixth Omani Dates Market, to be held from October 24-31 in Al Khuwayr. The dates marketplace is anticipated to attract about 70 participants which includes farmers and factory owners in addition to a quantity of public and private firms.
The festival aims to introduce the worth of Omani dates, and its value in terms of meals and wellness, mentioned H E Dr Fuad bin Ja’afar bin Mohammed al Sajwani, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
“It also promotes cultural and heritage awareness of the palm and its importance to Omanis. It also aims to promote competition among farmers to pay attention to palm trees and encourage investment to increase local production of dates,” H E Dr Sajwani mentioned. According to the statistics of 2017, estimates of nearby production of dates in the sultanate amounted to 361,000 tonnes, compared to 35,5000 tonnes for the season in 2016 and 344,000 tonnes in 2015.
Fifty-3 per cent of the production was consumed locally in 2017 although six per cent was exported.
H E Dr Sajwani added, “The ministry implements a national technique for the promotion of date palms, such as the distribution of a lot more than 725,000 seedlings to farmers in numerous governorates of the sultanate. The project aims at replacing palm trees with low productivity and sophisticated age with higher productivity and high quality plants, and re-organisation of palm tree planting in villages and agricultural oases.
The ministry also implemented a project to raise productivity (horticultural elements) in order to improve the productivity of palm trees. This project was implemented in 79 date generating villages in 34 wilayats in the sultanate. More than 1,100 farmers benefited from this project.”
Speaking about advertising, he mentioned, “We have implemented a project to develop date filling and packaging units. The project supported 200 farms from different governorates and distributed more than 750 machines and equipment.”
The Omani Dates Festival will have a drawing competitors, named ‘Nkhlati’.
The competitors will be carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, and it aims to introduce students to the value of the date palm. About 1,000 students from Muscat governorate will participate in the competitors. A symposium at Sultan Qaboos University will concentrate on the regular specifications of Omani dates.
At the conclusion of the festival, the ministry will celebrate Tree Day, which falls on October 31 each year.
Information Source: Muscat Daily