Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Eng. Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley has stressed that the date palm enjoys a prominent status, with the total area planted with palm trees estimated at 1.5 million hectares with over 200 million palm trees, annually producing 9.7 million tons of dates, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Al-Fadley made the remarks during the third session of the International Dates Council, which was held in Riyadh in the presence of several agriculture ministers and representatives of companies producing and importing dates in the Arab countries and around the world.

In his speech, he added that the exports of dates produced by 40 countries worldwide amounted to 1.8 million tons worth $2.3 billion.

At the conclusion of his statement, the minister said that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in a proactive step, had adopted the Kingdom's proposal for marking 2027 as the International Year of Date Palm to raise awareness [of] the palm and dates sector's contribution to sustainable rural agricultural development and food security, expressing hope for the meeting to contribute to adopting resolutions that ensure strong governance of the council and enable it to perform its role efficiently.