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Egypt’s Agrifood Group 'Haj Arafa' Plans to Invest USD 4 mn in Date Packaging Facility

The new packaging facility will aid the country's date production, with a primary focus on African and Asian markets.

Shivam Dwivedi
The facility is expected to have a thermoforming packaging machine that automatically packs dates in flexible or rigid film
The facility is expected to have a thermoforming packaging machine that automatically packs dates in flexible or rigid film

Haj Arafa, an Egyptian agrifood company, has announced plans to build a $4 million date packaging unit in the Siwa oasis in western Egypt next year. The project will be carried out in collaboration with local date producers, who will supply raw materials. According to Al Attar, the new facility will offer fruit sorting, cleaning, and packing services.

The facility is expected to have a thermoforming packaging machine that automatically packs dates in flexible or rigid film. According to the company, the factory's production will primarily target African and Asian markets.

It should help to support the ambitions of the local industry, which wants to increase its export revenues to US$100 million by 2024, up from around US$40 million in 2021.

The new packaging facility will help boost the country's date production. Egypt's annual production of dates exceeds 1.7 million tonnes, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Despite being one of the top producers of dates, the country trails the international fruit trade due to the importance of domestic consumption, which consumes more than 80% of the local supply. To address these issues and constraints, the government launched a plan of action to strengthen stakeholders' ability to collaborate to pursue common economic interests.

The project aimed to promote a successful model for date value chain development in one country's date-producing regions, which could then be replicated in other regions. The project also enabled the enhancement of capabilities and the improvement of the Dates value chain in Egypt for sustainable production, processing, and marketing.

Furthermore, this project contributed to the identification and preservation of important Date varieties for use in two regions of the country. According to INC, Egypt's date production increased 27% from the previous year in the 2021/22 season.

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