The global value of date exports has reportedly reached an annual $2.3 billion, according to Saudi Arabia's Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli. The date sector in Saudi Arabia boasts more than 200 million palm trees, covering 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of land, and produces 9.7 million tons of dates.

Al-Fadhli shared this information during a session of the International Dates Council held in Riyadh. He mentioned that 40 countries, mostly from the Middle East and North Africa region, are involved in the import and export of palm trees and dates.

During his address, Al-Fadhli also pointed out several challenges faced by the industry. These challenges include climate change, the spread of diseases and pests, low global consumption of dates (150 grams per person), high post-harvest losses, competition issues, trade obstacles, weak diversification, concerns about the quality of dates, and marketing difficulties.

Source: www.arabnews.com