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Al Jouf, the largest modern olive grove in the world

Al Jouf, the largest modern olive grove in the world

2019/05/02 -The famous Guinness Book, the Bible of records, says so. With a total of 7,335 ha. of modern olive groves, the olive farm of Al Jouf (Saudi Arabia) is the largest in the world on a single border. An extension that will foreseeably double in 2030, when production could reach 100,000 t. of extra virgin olive oil of great quality. The following is an extract of the article that will be published in the next issue of Mercacei Magazine.

Yauf is one of the 13 provinces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, nailed to the north of the country, delimited by Jordan to the north and the provinces of Frontier of the North to the east; Hail to the south; and Tabuk to the west. Its capital is Sakaka and has just over 100,000 inhabitants. The orography is eminently desert.

Here is located Al Jouf Agricultural Development Company (JADCO), whose olive exploitation dates back to 1996, currently with a total of 7,335 hectares of olive groves of diverse nature, variety, age and way of cultivation, which makes it the largest modern olive grove on the planet in just one line, as the Guinness Book of Records has proved. The annual growth range is 500 ha. additional per campaign, which guarantees that it is very likely to maintain this record for the next few years.

Of the total area, currently approximately 60% is an intensive olive grove and among the cultivated varieties stand out the picual or the local Sorani, Nepali or Quaisy. In 2009, this density system of intensive plantation with drip irrigation reached 4,000 hectares cultivated.

The farm currently produces almost 20 million kilos of olives, of which 45% correspond to the olive trees of greater density and the remaining 55% to less intensive olive trees.

The industrial area linked to the farm is located in an integrated way in a complex and consists first of a oil press with capacity for 150 t./day of olives, of which half are processed according to the Californian system and the other half through the Sevillian mode. Similarly, the site has two oil mills, one of new execution and another dating from the 90s, when the project began.

Article for Mercacei Magazine by Juan Vilar Hernández, economic analyst in international olive growing, permanent professor at the University of Jaén and founder and CEO of Juan Vilar Consultores Estratégicos, S.L.

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