Buraidah date farmers achieve record sales

Updated 25 August 2013

Buraidah date farmers achieve record sales

Date farmers at Buraidah seasonal date market sold dates worth more than SR12 million in a single day.
Nearly 1,400 trucks loaded with more than 210 packets of sukkari dates entered the market with a price tag of SR60 per pack.
The festival is registering an increase in sales every day, sometimes exceeding SR25 million a day.
The city receives more than 200,000 tons of the different types of dates, which represent the product of more than seven million palm trees.
The festival lasts 75 days and receives more than 45 types of the most famous dates in the world.
Every year, the festival kicks off in mid-August as a celebration of the harvest, where farmers have been selling their crop at Al-Jeradah market for the last 50 years.
The celebration of the season evolved in terms of its location and the services it provides. Qassim authorities allocated a special space for the festival, in addition to other specialized areas for the commercial activities of dates’ industry.
Ali Al-Faiyzi, one of the biggest farmers in the industry, said that the crop is very good this year in terms of quantity and quality. “Farmers are now savvier with the advanced methods of farming. They give more attention and care to their fields knowing that the industry is making good profits, which sometimes reaches millions,” he added.
He said that job opportunities in the palm and dates industry and seasonal jobs for youth in particular are available so they can boost their income if they wish.
Khaled Al-Naqeedan, CEO of Buraidah Date Festival, said that the beginning of the festival recorded unprecedented figures and provided several job opportunities for Saudis.
“The secretariat of Qassim made available vast courts and locations for the festival, and sites for the operations of packaging and transportation,” he said.
He added that there are trucks to transport dates to several regions in the country.
Authorities in Qassim supervise the packaging process to prevent cheating and to standardize the quantities in each individual pack, almost 3.50 kg a pack.


Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Sudan and Djibouti over RVF fears

Updated 7 min 46 sec ago

Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Sudan and Djibouti over RVF fears

  • Sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was found positive of Rift Valley fever
  • Livestock imports from Somalia had earlier been banned, says Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has announced a ban on importing livestock from Sudan and Djibouti.

The ministry said the ban is a response to the announcement of World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) concerning documented cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Sudan. 

In addition, a sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was positive and thus was not cleared.

According to the ministry, Saudi Arabia imported 5 million heads of cattle from Sudan and 700,000 from Djibouti during the last Hijri year, prior to the ban.

The spokesman for the ministry, Abdullah Abalkhail, said that alternative sources include GCC, Jordan, Uruguay, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Georgia, Portugal, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Romania, as well as Chinese Mongolia, Argentine, Brazil and the US.

These countries can hardly compete with African states, said Al-Jadani, due to prices, different weather and customer demand. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Humaid Al-Jadani, a livestock merchant and a former member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce livestock committee, said 5 ships were about to arrive carrying up to 50,000 heads of cattle when the ban was announced, but were turned back.
  • He said that the Saudi market depends heavily on imports from Africa, specifically Sudan and Djibouti.
  • Prices have risen during the past two days by 30 percent and further rises are expected, said Al-Jadani.
  • Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of rift valley fever were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and northern Darfur. 

The domestic livestock, he added, covers the demand of a very low percentage of the market and the price of local sheep are very high.

All shipments are examined at their point of arrival and only healthy animals are allowed into the local market.

 

Regulations

The ministry has already banned livestock imports from Somalia.

“The ministry studies each country individually to put health regulations in line with the OIE and we follow up daily reports from the OIE to reduce the spread of the diseases among animals and people,” Abalkhail said.

Humaid Al-Jadani, a livestock merchant and a former member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce livestock committee, said five ships were about to arrive carrying up to 50,000 heads of cattle when the ban was announced, but were turned back.

He said that the Saudi market depends heavily on imports from Africa, specifically Sudan and Djibouti.

According Al-Jadani, prices have risen during the past two days by 30 percent and further rises are expected in the coming period.

The ministry has called on those working in the sector to contact officials on the hotline 8002470000 if they find any suspicious cases.

A fine up to SR1 million ($267,000) will be imposed on any company contravening the ban.

Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of RVF were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and Northern Darfur. According to the World Health Organization Sudan witnessed a huge RVF outbreak in 2007, while in Saudi Arabia RVF spread back in 2000.

The World Bank noted previously that six zoonotic diseases between 1997 and 2009 have led to a loss of $80 billion.

Officials believe that only through collaboration between various authorities in the health, biology and environment sectors the disease can be controlled.