Without celebrations…the launch of the activities of the Seventh International Festival of Egyptian Dates in Siwa
Engineer Ahmed Samir, Minister of Trade and Industry, confirmed. The Egyptian state’s interest in the date sector is considered one of the promising sectors that contribute to achieving economic and social development, increasing exports, and creating job opportunities, through giant modern projects that come within the framework of the directives of His Excellency the President of the Republic to pay attention to palm trees and dates, including the establishment of the largest palm farm in the world with a total of 2.3 million palm trees. In the Toshka and Owainat area.
The minister said that the date crop in Egypt represents a strategic crop, as Egypt ranks first on the global level in terms of production, at about 18% and 24% of Arab production, with a number of fruitful palm trees exceeding about 16 million palm trees.
This came in the context of the Minister’s speech delivered on his behalf by Al-Louaz Kamel Hilal, Advisor to the Minister for Industrial Projects, during the opening of the activities of the Seventh International Festival of Egyptian Dates in Siwa, under the generous patronage of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, which will be held during the period from 20 to 22 October this month, and organized by the Ministry. In cooperation with the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation in the United Arab Emirates and Matrouh Governorate, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the Chamber of Food Industries, the Export Council for Food Industries, the Export Council for Agricultural Crops, and the Development Association. And the development of horticultural exports “Haya”. The exhibition was opened without any celebrations in solidarity with the Palestinian events.
Major General Khaled Shuaib, Governor of Matrouh, and Dr. Abdel Wahab Zayed, Secretary General of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, participated in the opening ceremony.
Samir pointed out that the festival is of great importance in light of the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s keenness to develop the promising industrial and export sectors in which Egypt has great competitive advantages, in order to contribute to achieving the Ministry’s plan to increase the contribution of the industrial sector to the domestic product.
The Minister pointed out that the seventh festival of dates comes as a continuation of the success achieved by the festival during the previous sessions and unifies the efforts of all parties, including governmental institutions, research bodies and international organizations, to advance the sector, find applied solutions to the problems facing date producers and manufacturers, and establish strong links between them, and also to strengthen ties and exchange experiences between them. Producers and manufacturers of dates from inside and outside Egypt, as well as encouraging innovation, competition, transfer of modern information and exchange of experiences, in addition to opening new horizons for date producers and manufacturers to market and export their products.
Samir explained that the festival is attended by about 95 exhibitors from the UAE, Sudan, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, in addition to many local importers and representatives of major distribution chains in Egypt, and with the participation of Indonesia as one of the most important importers of Egyptian dates, noting that the festival It represents an important step towards advancing the date sector and increasing its international competitiveness, which will contribute strongly to improving Egyptian exports, providing productive job opportunities for youth, and reducing unemployment rates.
The Minister stressed the Ministry’s interest in rehabilitating existing factories and establishing modern factories aimed at maximizing the added value and benefiting from surplus dates, pointing out that the number of industrial establishments operating in the field of manufacturing and packing dates is about 142 existing factories, and the number of date exporters is about 24 exporters.
Samir pointed to the efforts made by the state to develop the date sector in Egypt, to advance this promising sector, which includes establishing a date complex in New Valley Governorate, the Siwa Government Dates Factory in Matrouh Governorate, establishing cold stores for dates in the Bahariya Oasis in Giza Governorate, and rehabilitating 160 farms in Siwa to obtain agricultural certificates. Membership and organization of 6 sessions of the International Festival of Egyptian Dates in Siwa Oasis in Matrouh and Aswan Governorates, pointing out that the state’s efforts also include supporting the participation of representatives of Egyptian date factories in international exhibitions and festivals and the preparation of technical studies, in cooperation with the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, with the aim of improving quality and productivity. Developing the sector and issuing the agricultural climate map for the most important palm varieties grown in Egypt in cooperation with the Khalifa Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation and the Export Council for Agricultural Crops and issuing the Egyptian strategy for developing the date sector in Egypt in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The strategy is currently being updated in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization. and agriculture to the United Nations and all concerned parties.
He noted that the Ministry included Egyptian dates as a priority product in the project “One Country, One Priority Product” implemented by the FAO, and the Food and Agricultural Processing Technology Center provided technical support, technical consultations, and the transfer of modern technology to maximize added value, increase competitiveness, and rehabilitate date factories. To obtain international quality certificates, accredit these factories from the National Food Safety Authority, join the Export Councils for Agricultural Crops and Food Industries, and have the commercial representation prepare 28 marketing studies for Egyptian dates in a number of targeted international markets, and make these studies available to exporters.
The minister added that the state is keen to give an impetus to Egyptian exports by providing export incentives, as the Food Industries and Agricultural Processing Technology Center and the Ministry’s Technology and Industrial Innovation Centers are currently implementing a project to develop the value chain of dates in Siwa Oasis and create a unified brand.
For his part, Major General Khaled Shuaib, Governor of Matrouh, welcomed the holding of the International Dates Festival in its new form for the seventh year on the land of Siwa Oasis, pointing out that organizing the International Dates Festival in Siwa reflects its great importance and its important economic return to the farmers and producers of the oasis, as it contributes to the exchange of various experiences in the date industry and agriculture. More strains to improve their productivity, and the use of the latest methods of collection, sterilization, packaging and storage, and the introduction of new international varieties of date palms, especially Arabic varieties, in a way that contributes to creating a boom in the production of Egyptian dates.
Shuaib pointed out the importance of the National Food Safety Authority’s participation in this festival and the role it plays in facilitating the export of Oasis factory dates, coding methods to produce a certified product in accordance with specifications and quality standards, overcoming obstacles related to export, as well as educating farmers and factory owners with any additional information about pest control and others.
The Governor extended thanks and appreciation to His Excellency Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, for his directives to organize the seventh annual date festival in Siwa, which is organized by the sister UAE, represented by the Khalifa International Award for Date Palms and Agricultural Innovation, in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry and Matrouh Governorate, and in confirmation of the spirit of cooperation and relations. The well-established strategic and historical relationship between the UAE and Egypt, the pioneering role of the sister UAE in supporting the agricultural sector, especially in the field of date palm, and the status of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation and its constructive role in developing the date palm sector and advancing it at the level of the Arab world, with the organization of several events at the level of a number of From Arab countries.