Algeria produces 1.1 million tons of dates

04 de novembro de 2017

Algiers – Date production in Algeria reached 1.1 million tons this year, according to information by the CEO of the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACI), Wahiba Bahloul. The volume is near twice as large than the one registered five years ago, of little more than 600,000 tons in 2012. Exports, however, account to only 3% of the total produced, according to a feature published this week by news agency Algérie Presse Service (APS).

Algeria is the world’s fourth largest date producer and accounts for 14% of the total produced globally. Last year, exports of the fruit generated USD 37 million to the country, an amount considered negligible against the presumed potential, according to Bahloul. She talked about the topic during a press conference held to present the 3rd Dates International Expo in Biskra, city located in the country’s Northeast. The trade show takes place from December 1 to 5.

According to CACI’s CEO, the increase of date exports could help Algeria’s efforts to diversify its foreign trade and reduce its dependency of the oil and gas sector.

Rachid Saï, CACI’s director, said that only 54 of the 360 existing varieties of the fruit are sold in the local and international markets. Algeria exports to near 40 countries and initiatives are being taken to enter the China and Vietnam markets, according to APS.

In addition to exports, the country has been encouraging the industrialization of dates. According to the agency, only 20 companies processed the fruit in 2015, a number that climbed to 80 this year. From the dates are extracted products such as sugar, molasses, vinegar, flour, a drink similar to coffee obtained from the fruit’s seed, plus stuffed dates.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani