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Many flock to farms to savour olive picking experience amid harvest season

By Maria Weldali - Nov 25,2021 - Last updated at Nov 25,2021

Olive trees cover 72 per cent of the agricultural land in Jordan, according to a recent Department of Statistics statement (Al Rai photo)

AMMAN — As the olive harvest season gets underway, significant numbers of citizens and residents are flocking to farms and mills to experience first-hand olive picking and the oil extraction process, according to farmers and olive producers.

There is a growing trend towards olive picking and tasting experiences in Jordan, said Alaa Mansour, a farmer based in Madaba.

“People are now more interested in agriculture and farm life,” Mansour told The Jordan Times, noting that the new trend would positively affect agritourism and encourage farm stays.

Jawdat Manaseer, an olive producer, said that the olive oil picking and tasting services have helped in reviving the sector.

“Even schools take their students to olive farms, to give them a glimpse of life on the farm,” he said.

When harvest season arrives in October, Manaseer who runs his family’s olive farm, said he usually waits for the first rain to pick the olives as it is considered a family tradition.

“Farmers are the base of the olive oil sector, and harvesting olives has given me the best farmer for a day experience,” Ghadeer Najjar, 24, who recently visited a farm in Amman, told The Jordan Times.

Najjar said that she is planning on taking her two sisters to the same farm next year.

Olive Oil Producer and Mill Owner Syndicate Spokesperson Mahmoud Al Omari told The Jordan Times that “picking olives 48 hours after a rainfall of over 20 millimetres leads to water entering the fruit, thereby many farmers think that the percentage of oil in the fruit decreases, but actually the quantity of olive oil does not change”.

Currently, the demand for olive oil is “very good, and prices remain stable”.

This year’s olive oil production is similar to 2020’s volume that ranged between 23,000 and 24,000 tonnes, he noted.

Olive trees cover 72 per cent of the agricultural land in Jordan, according to a recent Department of Statistics (DoS) statement. 

Approximately, 10.5 million olive trees are planted in over 560,000 dunums, most of which are located in the northern region of the Kingdom, the DoS said, noting that Jordan also ranked 8th internationally in producing olive oil. 

 

 

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