The largest date garden in the world

The largest date garden in the world

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Batin palm tree project near the city of Buraydah in Saudi Arabia is the largest garden of date palms in the world with two lakh trees. In 2011, it entered the Guinness Book of World Records. It is spread over 5,466 hectares and has nearly 45 types of date palms. Buraydah is located in the central region of Saudi Arabia and is estimated to have nearly 50 lakh date palms. The garden has been raised by leading Saudi businessman Sheikh Saleh Abdul Aziz Al-Rajhi under Saleh bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rajhi Endowments Administration. A part of the produce goes for free distribution among pilgrims who visit the Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah during the month of Ramazan. Prior to 1990s, this garden used to raise wheat, barley and watermelon along with dates. In 1993, Sheikh Saleh ordered expansion of the date palm area. Gradually other crops were replaced by date trees all planted in a 10 x 10 metre area following the recommendation of the Ministry of Agriculture. With water being available in plenty in this area, the irrigation system was modernized.

Statistics suggest that Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer of dates in the world with around 2.5 crore date palm trees under cultivation. Nearly 360 varieties of dates are produced. A Saudi is estimated to consume 30 kgs of dates a year. Popular varieties grown in the Kingdom are Rothan Al-Madinah, Maskani, Mabroom, Khlass, Barhi, Saqiy, Muneefi, Shaishi, Shaibi, Sukkari, Ajwah, etc.

Al-Ahsa is particularly famous for the khalasah date, which is routinely named in polls as the best date in the world.
In the Islamic tradition, dates are the food the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ate when he broke his fast.

AL-AHSA, Saudi Arabia: Dates are a staple in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East, both in their own right and as a common ingredient in local dishes. In particular, they form an important part of the diet of Muslims during Ramadan, when they are traditionally eaten every evening to break the fast.
Al-Ahsa, in eastern Saudi Arabia, is the largest date-palm oasis in the world, with about 3 million trees spread across 30,000 acres. It is particularly famous for the khalasah date known in Saudi Arabia as khlas, a word that loosely translates as quintessential which is routinely named in polls as the best date in the world.
In the Islamic tradition, dates are the food the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ate when he broke his fast.

The date palm, called nakhl in Arabic, and the fruit, called tamr, are mentioned more than any other fruit-bearing plant in the Qur’an, and are symbols closely associated with Islam and Muslims.

Date palms are now grown extensively around the world. There are about 240 to 360 varieties, and the flavor of each is greatly influenced by the soil and weather conditions in the area where they are grown. Amir Hajj, Saidy, Khadrawy and Medjool are some of the finest varieties, known for their rich flavors and superior quality.

The Ajwah variety, however, has particular religious and medicinal significance. The Prophet said: Ajwah dates are from Paradise.
Every year, Al-Ahsa hosts a dates festival in an area covering 3,600 square meters, featuring government agencies and companies that grow and sell dates.
The strategic vision of the festival is for Al-Ahsa to become a focal point for the dates industry, by transforming them from simply being an agricultural item to a distinctive product for investment, tourism and the economy.
The festival aims to develop the concepts of agricultural marketing, quality production and communication between farmers and trader.

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