During the period from 21st to 23rd October 2018, The Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture, Khalifa International Prize for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation and the Jordan Dates Association organized the First International Festival of Jordanian Dates, Under the Patronage of the Jordanian President His Majesty King Abdullah II, and in cooperation with international and regional organizations: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD), the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas ICARDA, International Date Palm Network, and the Date Palm Friends Society in the United Arab Emirates.
AOAD participation in the festival was part of the efforts of H.E Prof. Ibrahim Adam El Dukheri, the Director General of AOAD in activating the role of the organization in the field such events and festivals. In addition, the AOAD has given great attention to the date production sector in the Arab region, because date palms have a place in the Arab cultural heritage, its economic and social importance and as a source of food in many countries in the Arab region.
The festival included a specialized scientific symposium that discussed the most important challenges and horizons for Arab countries emphasizing on Majhool Jordanian dates.
AOAD also presented a working paper on the organization's efforts in the development of the date palm sector in the Arab region, focusing on the efforts of the organization in combating red palm weevil. During the opening session, a number of memorandums of understanding were signed between the Jordanian Dates Association, (FAO) and the Khalifa International Prize for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation.
During his visit to AOAD section in the accompanying exhibition of the festival, H.E Eng. Ibrahim Subhi Al Shihada, the Jordanian Minister of Agriculture and Environment, praised the role of the AOAD in the agricultural sector in general and the dates sector in particular.
H.E Dr. Abdul Wahab Zayed, the Secretary General of Khalifa International Prize for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, praised the efforts exerted by AOAD to develop the date palm sector in the Arab countries represented in the national and regional studies and projects to control pests and diseases affecting date palms and their control methods.
It is worth mentioning that the International Festival of Jordanian Dates is part of the efforts of the Khalifa Award to support and develop the date palms sector in the Arab countries and to enhance the reputation of the Arab dates and to introduce them at the regional and international levels. The festival also became a milestone and a platform for coordination and regional and international cooperation for the development of date palms and its products.