Not one of the 15,000 kilos of fruits from the Al Jabri farm are ever taken to market.
15,000 kilos of dates are harvested yearly at Mohammed Al Jabri’s sprawling farm in Ras Al Khaimah — however none of them are taken to the market.
“Not even a single date grown on my farm is bought,” he instructed Khaleej Occasions. As a substitute, mounds upon mounds of dates are all packed in crates and containers that go straight to individuals in want.
Charity is the only real function of Al Jabri farm, stated the philanthropist and businessman. And his beneficiant donations even go so far as the Indian states of Karnataka and Kerala.
Over 800 date palms of a number of varieties are grown on the farm, which is managed and brought care of by 4 Bangladeshi expats. However Mohammed, the CEO of MOJ Group, has by no means failed to go to each week.
“We contemplate the palm timber as relations. My father additionally owned a farm the place he had a number of timber and names for every date palm. An Arab’s emotional bond with date palms is unmatched,” he stated.
As soon as all of the dates for charities are prepared for transport, no matter is left from the harvest is shared with household and pals.
Dates within the UAE’s historical past
The date palm itself is an important a part of the UAE’s heritage and group life. Prized for its a number of makes use of, this tree is greater than only a supply of meals. Its trunk is used to construct properties, whereas its fronds and leaves are weaved into handicrafts which have formed Emirati traditions.
“Folks within the Arab area have relied on palm timber for lots of issues — from constructing homes to creating carpets, containers, luggage, hand followers, ropes and plenty of extra,” Mohammed stated.
Each date grows and ripens at totally different levels, which Arabs have known as Kimri, Bisr, Rutub and Tamar.
Kimri refers back to the small, inexperienced dates which might be hard-textured and never but edible, whereas Bisr is the intense yellow or crimson fruit that’s nonetheless arduous and crisp however could be consumed.
The Rutab stage is the place the fruit is partially browned and softened on the tip, which is ideal for consumption. That is when dates are often given as presents to family members and pals.
Tamar is when the absolutely ripened fruit turns amber or darkish brown, with its texture starting from pliable to agency. Dates at this closing stage are these present in supermarkets and exported to many international locations.
“Tamar is preserved the entire yr within the fridge and provided to the much less lucky for Iftar throughout Ramadan,” Mohammed defined.
A rising trade
The UAE has been giving nice significance to agricultural growth, significantly to this point farming. It’s the sixth-largest exporter of dates on the earth.
Yearly, varied date festivals are held in several elements of the nation, facilitating an trade of data and experience and provoking farmers to innovate and undertake fashionable agricultural strategies.
This particular consideration is clearly seen within the enlargement of agricultural sources and investments, in addition to the speedy enhance within the variety of palm timber rising on UAE soil.
Explaining the strategies used on the Ras Al Khaimah farm, Omar Al Jabri, son of Mohammed and the final supervisor of MOJ Group, stated: “In the course of the month of March, we expertise excessive temperatures. That is when the fertilisation of seeds occur. Date palm fertilisation is fully depending on the climate. And that’s a date known as fakihat algait (fruit of summer season).
“A date requires extreme temperature. We get all of the levels of dates from July to August and now we’re within the peak season of dates.”
Within the early days, individuals within the Arabian Peninsula have been dependent solely on fish and dates and date palms have been thought of an indication of respect.
“Previously, the variety of palm timber decided your worth within the society. There have been no employees and it was the relations who did all of the work to develop their farms,” Omar stated.
For Al Jabri household, the date palm was not solely a tree of life however actually a tree of data. “The lesson what the date palm teaches us is immense. Lots of persistence, perseverance and arduous work is required for the timber to bear fruit. We utilized the identical idea in our enterprise,” Omar stated.