JEDDAH: The 15th Jouf International Olive Festival is to kick off on Thursday, March 3, at the Prince Abdullah Community Center in Skaka and will run for 10 days.
The festival includes the participation of several national and international olive and olive oil companies and is the biggest olive festival in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council region.
It aims to expand marketing opportunities for olive and olive oil producers in Saudi Arabia, introducing the region’s olive products to a wider audience, as well as increasing investments in olive oil. It also aims to activate the role of Saudi businessmen and women in the industry.
The festival will also contribute to revitalizing economic and commercial activity in the region and increase the output of the agricultural sector, within the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia’s northern Jouf region, known as the Kingdom’s “olive basket,” has more than 18 million olive trees across 7,300 hectares. The soil there is particularly fertile and well-suited to growing the trees, which produce thousands of liters of olive oil annually. Prince Faisal bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, governor of Jouf, has supported olive farmers and producers in the region, allowing for higher-quality products and an increase in production volume.
Nasser Al-Hamad, owner of the Million Tree Farm, who is participating in the festival for the second time, told Arab News: “I’ll be displaying pickled olives and olive oil from my farm. I’ll also be showcasing the smart irrigation system that I use there.”
Al-Hamad said that he invited Amenduni Nicola S.p.a, a leading Italian construction company for oil extraction, to participate in the festival.
The final day of the festival will see the announcement of the best five farmers, best olives and best oil.
The evaluation committee consists of a constellation of experts and specialists who will carry out an accurate assessment of the products through on-ground visits and inspections of the participating farms.
A total of SR500,000 ($133,258) in prize money will be distributed among the five winners of different categories.
Organized by Jouf’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Jouf Municipality and the Emirate of Jouf Province, the festival will bring together visitors from across the world and host entertainment such as theater shows, concerts, kids’ activities and more.