1,000 tonnes of dates procured in 10 days

AL AIN — Al Foah has received more than 70,000 crates of dates from farmers in the eastern and northern regions during the first 10 days of the 2006 receiving season, the company announced yesterday.

By Lana Mahdi

Published: Thu 10 Aug 2006, 12:55 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:07 PM

The total weight of dates collected at Al Foah receiving centres since July 25 has surpassed 1,000 tonnes.

The strong showing comes following major improvements this year at all eight Al Foah receiving centres.

The improvements include an increase in the number of docks, forklifts, precision scales and computers. The company also has employed highly trained staff to work at the centres.

Meanwhile, farmers from the western region also began delivering dates on August 5.

Dr Karim Mohyeldin Said, Al Foah CEO, said, "An impressive 200 trucks a day are arriving at our centres for processing, yet we are taking less time than expected to handle each load. This is because of the various improvements and the other initiatives implemented this year jointly between Al Foah, the Department of Municipalities and Agriculture and the Irshaad Centres. These new initiatives include a date marketing brochure and regular meetings between farmers and Irshaad Centre engineers to explain the new receiving system."

Also helping to speed up the process, Al Foah is using SMS text messages to provide farmers with information on the new receiving system and has also set up a toll-free hotline (800 5551) for farmers to call with enquiries if any regarding the new procedures.

Eng Saeed Salem Messri Al Hameli, Al Foah general manager, noted that farmers were quick to understand all aspects of the new system, including the new specifications for classifying dates and the importance of separating the different grades of dates within each type.

Al Hameli said farmers are reminded not to mix different varieties when presenting them for inspection and weighing and to keep the different grades within each variety separate, as this will ensure a better price. He also advised them to fill each crates to its maximum limit, to bring two labourers to handle each truckload and to avoid using broken crates.

Al Foah has set new unified standards that are based on international and Arab date standards, as well as those of the Emirates Standardisation and Specifications Authority.

The standards have also taken into consideration other factors that affect date palm cultivation and date harvesting such as water salinity and other soil and water problems.

Saif Mubarak Salem Al Ameri, a farmer from Arrad, praised the efficient receiving process at the Bu Kriya receiving centre and the ample parking and comfortable waiting tents for farmers.

Ali Khamis Saeed, a farmer in Ras Al Khaimah, noticed a big difference in the Al Foah receiving centre this year compared to last year. "The upgrade meant that the whole process is now faster, easier and more pleasant."

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