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Algerian dates conquer Asian market

Algerian date exporters have started to conquer the Asian date market by exporting many varieties of the fruit. The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Biskra, Abdelmadjid Khobzi, said that Algeria’s first time participating in the International agri-food trade show in Jakarta (Indonesia) last November “allowed the Indonesian, Malaysian and Indian consumers to discover different varieties of Algerian dates”. The Algerian operators who participated in the trade show gained “export opportunities for different varieties of dates, other than the Deglet Nour, and some have started to export mainly to Indonesia”.

The Algerian delegation signed an agreement with Indonesian authorities to promote Algerian date exports to the Asian continent.

Mr Khobzi says “we have remarked that varieties of dates that sell at low prices on the national market are more expensive in these Asian countries”. He says that Algeria produces over 360 varieties of dates, including the Deglet Nour.

The Indonesian government have apparently agreed to give the investors 3 hectares of land on which to build a date processing factory with “very encouraging” fiscal advantages. Mr Khobzi says that “this project will allow us to access other Asian markets” and he denounces “foreign lobbies” that are blocking Algerian date exports to Europe.

Biskra, which produces 220,000 tons of dates/ year, will have a dry port in which to promote date exports and commercialisation. Mr Khobzi denounces certain Algerian exporters who, with compliance from locals, have “a monopoly” on the date exporting market.

Date farming in Algeria covers 165,000 hectares with 18 million palm trees all over the South where production reached 840,000 tons in 2013 making Algeria the world’s 7th date producer. Date exports represent 40% of Algeria’s total agricultural exports.

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