Posted on: Sunday 16 September, 2012 5:31
|SABIC honored for sponsoring Onaiza Dates Festival
Prince Faisal bin Meshal bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Qassim Deputy Governor, honored the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) for its strategic sponsorship of the Onaiza Dates Festival 2012 for the fifth time in a row.
Dr. Abdullah Fawaz, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, received an honorary plaque on behalf of SABIC at a function held on September 12. He also spoke on behalf of all the sponsors at the function.
Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, said that SABIC’s support for the festival comes as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, which covers various areas of national development. He said that SABIC is dedicated to serving society in all productive and developmental areas, in keeping with the government’s efforts to achieve economic integration and comprehensive development in all sectors, including agriculture.
Al-Mady further noted that dates are cultivated as a strategic crop of the Kingdom and is a pillar of food security. This vital farm sector is interrelated with SABIC’s business as a major producer of fertilizers and a supporter of sustainable agriculture through its plastic products used in water irrigation systems. SABIC’s sponsorship of the Onaiza and Buraidah dates festivals comes in support for national efforts to improve yield and promote scientific research in the field, bearing in mind the cultural and religious value of dates in Saudi society.
The dates season in Onaiza began on August 19, and will continue for 40 days. SABIC is also a sponsor of the Buraidah Dates Festival, which began on August 25 and will run for 30 days. The Buraidah dates season began on July 30 and will continue for 75 days.
The Kingdom is a leader in dates cultivation and production which bears major economic significance to the Kingdom and is a rich nutrition source. According to the latest official statistics published in 2010, there are around 23.4 million date palms in the Kingdom, which accounts for 20 percent of such trees in the world.
Moreover, the Kingdom accounts for 13.7 percent of the world consumption and production of dates. Palm cultivation is spread over 19 percent of the total farm area in the Kingdom. Dates production increased from 649, 000 tons in 1997 to 992, 000 tons by the end of 2010.