The date is one of the agricultural products in which Egypt has a comparative advantage. If the country already enjoys the status of the world’s largest producer, it now wants a greater role in terms of exports.
In Egypt, the date industry has great ambitions in the global market. According to Mohammed Al-Qarsh, head of the fruit working group at the Agri-Food Exports Council, the industry expects to increase its international revenue from $ 40 million currently to $ 100 million by 2024.
This approach should make it possible to take advantage of the growing global demand for the product and will focus more particularly on Europe and South America, which each year import 44,000 tonnes of dates from the land of the Pharaohs.
Within the framework of this objective, the sector intends not only to cultivate new varieties of the fruit in great demand, such as Medjoul and Barhi, but also to increase the added value of its shipments. This last point should be achieved by improving the packaging of dates and moving towards the manufacture of several by-products such as powder, paste and molasses.
As a reminder, Egypt is the world’s largest producer of dates with 1.7 million tonnes per year, but still remains largely behind world trade due to the importance of its domestic consumption.
With only 17% of its harvest shipped, the country ranks 12th on the list of global fruit exporters.