More than 45 farmers are taking part in the 14th edition of the Al-Jouf International Olive Festival; which is currently underway at Prince Abdul-Ilah Civilization Center in Sakaka.
The festival serves as a link between producers and consumers; and offers the farmers an opportunity to market their products of olive fruits, oil, and their derivatives.
In remarks to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA); the farmers also said that the annual fair achieved outstanding success over the past 13 years; and turned into an economic and agricultural event; attracting large numbers of visitors from Al-Jouf and other regions that enable them to sell their olive oil products.
They also cited the contribution of the Al-Jouf Governor’s Award for the best olive oil product in creating competition among farmers and thus upgrading the quality of the products.
According to the Olive Research Center at Al-Jouf University, the production of Al-Jouf farms in the previous season amounted to 11,000 tons of olive oil; achieving a gradual increase in recent years, produced from 18 million olive trees, and thus being the most productive tree in Saudi Arabia after the palm.
Condensed cultivation method
The director of the center, Dr. Bassam bin Faris Al-Aweesh, attributed the increase in production to the tendency of farmers and companies to replace many crops with olives after it has been proved their economic feasibility; as well as the adoption of the condensed cultivation method instead of the traditional method, where 1,600 trees are planted per hectare instead of 200 trees according to the traditional method.
He added that the quality of “Al-Jouf Oil” contributed to its popularity; making it the most sought-after product demand among consumers in the Kingdom.
Al-Aweesh stated that planting olive trees are a strategic option in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030; toward achieving food sufficiency and a national economic tributary stimulating investment; as well as its environmental impact on increasing vegetation cover, improving climate, and resisting desertification.
Al-Jouf has outperformed many countries in the world in olive oil production; especially after Al-Jouf Agricultural Company obtained a certificate of Guinness World Records for the size of area and production. Besides, registered as the largest modern olive farm in the world for the second year in a row.