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Summary
ProduceEgypt dates
Variety Zaghoul, Hayany, Barhi, Siwa
Common Name Dates
Size 3-7 cm long 2.5cm wide
Packing SpecificationVacuumed plastic bags, 250grms, 500grms, 1kg punnets
Season October
Transport conditions Cool, dry temperature Good ventilation Transported in cold stores or standard containers

“A date palm is the only creation of God that resembles man. Unlike other trees, Egypt dates palm tree gives more as it grows older.” – Egyptian saying

The palm tree has been described as ‘the tree of life’ because it grows in the desert. Besides that, dates are wholesome fruits in terms of nutrition. They are sources of critical nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, potassium, and calcium. 

Dates archeologically have been in existence for at least 50 million years. Iraq is believed to have been their origin before other nations began cultivating them. They date back to more than 5000 years ago and are one of the oldest tree crops from the Middle East. Trade later was responsible for its spread to Northeast Africa and Eastern Mediterranean regions

Palm trees have slender and long trunks with large leaves called fronds at the treetop. They reach 69-75 ft. in height, and their leaves are four to six meters long. The date fruit itself is 3-7cm in length and 2.5cm in width. They are oval cylindrical, and their color ranges from bright red to bright yellow depending on the variety.

Egypt is one of the biggest producers of Egypt Dates; the country produces 1.5 million tons yearly, capturing 18% of the global dates production. 

Ismailia, Cairo’s governorate, has served as a date farm. Other production regions include; Giza city, Fayoum city, South Sinai, Nubaria region, and Sharkia city.

The variety of date fruits in Egypt is wide. Barhi is among the sweetest and popular desert fruits globally. It has thick flesh and is rich in flavor. Zaghoul, on the other hand, is very popular in Egypt. It is long and crunchy. The Hayani variety has a high moisture content, and its consumption is when the fruit is fresh. 

Egypt dates are grown in temperatures above 16°c and their trees grow reasonably well in alkali and salty soil and water. They have minimal production requirements. Regardless, the fertile land, pleasant climate, adequate irrigation water, and a wide variety of soils favor their cultivation. 

Dates in Egypt develop in over four phases before they are ripe; 

  • Chimri: the first 17 weeks after pollination when the fruits are green and mostly moisture
  • Khalal: the following six weeks when the fruits reach their full size and change their color to yellow, orange or red
  • Rutab: the next four weeks whereby the fruits get semi-soft
  • Tamar: the last two weeks when the dates are darker in color, softer and sweeter. Dry varieties get harvested at this phase.

Generally, planting begins in February and March, and the plant undergoes a six-month growing period with maintenance using natural fertilizer.

Date fruits pollination in Egypt is individual, and harvesting is done by handpicking when the fruits have turned yellow. End summer or winter dawn marks the start of the harvest season, which runs from August to November. The fruits are sorted, cleaned using a date washer then stored in cases. The after harvest storage temperature is -18°c. When dry, they are put in a clean and tight paperboard. They then are temporarily heated in an oven. Afterward, they are pitted, and hand-checked for quality then packed in custom packages of boxes differentiated by weight. They are either exported or sold in the local market. Egypt exports to 42 countries and counting, with Indonesia, Morocco, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Thailand topping the list.

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