National Olive Festival to kick off on November 24

AMMAN — The 22nd edition of the National Olive Festival and Rural Products’ Exhibition is set to kick off on Thursday in Amman.

The 10-day festival, organised by the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, will be held in Mecca Mall.

This annual event, which will witness the participation of over 600 exhibitors, aims to “provide a free market” space to support the local products of small scale farmers and rural women”, NARC Director General Nizar Haddad told The Jordan Times.

Aside from olive oil, the festival will display various traditional foods and handicrafts. It will also feature educational seminars and cultural segments with traditional and folkloric performances, according to Haddad.

He added that a QR code label will be placed on oil containers to help in traceability and prevent adulteration by providing information on the exact source, quality and quantity of the sold product.

Moreover, both consumers and producers will be able to benefit form free-of-charge olive testing services provided by NARC’s lab technicians, he continued. 

This year’s edition will also mark the participation of representatives from the International Olive Council, currently chaired by Jordan, to benefit from global expertise in agricultural technology, marketing and olive oil production, said Haddad. 

He also noted that last year, the festival was “a great success”, as it displayed the products of over 500 participants, welcomed 263,458 visitors, sold 238 tonnes of olive oil for JD1,114,200 and brought in a total revenue exceeding JD3 million. 

According to a statement by NARC made available to The Jordan Times, olive trees cover 72 per cent of the land cultivated with fruit trees and 20 per cent of the total area under cultivation in Jordan. 

Approximately 11 million olive trees are planted over 570,000 dunums, 80 per cent of which are located in the northern region of the Kingdom, the statement said. 

It added that Jordan, which is ranked 5th regionally and 10th internationally in olive oil production, exports roughly 500 tonnes of olive oil per year to over 15 countries. 

Investments in the sector amount to roughly JD1 billion, bringing a yearly revenue of JD120 million and providing a source of income for more than 80,000 families, according to NARC. 

Source: The Jordan Times