Its farmers celebrate the "Year of Coffee" and describe their crop as "the best in the world".
The smell of fresh coffee smells at the tops of the Sarawat Mountains, where Al-Dayer Governorate (southwest of Saudi Arabia) is located, which is covered with Arabic “Khawlani” coffee trees, which is one of the finest types of coffee in the world. There, Saudi farmers are reaping their agricultural crops these days, rejoicing at the Saudi Ministry of Culture’s selection of their product, and the designation of 2022 as the “Year of Saudi Coffee.”
Jaber Al-Maliki, one of the coffee farmers in Al-Dayer governorate and the owner of “Kahwatcom” farms, tells the story of the close relationship between the people of the governorate and coffee cultivation, stressing that it is a profession inherited from generation to generation in the mountain terraces, and adds: “Our farm was inherited from father to grandfather, and it is one of the farms The old ones that are more than 130 years old, and the number of trees in them exceeds the limits of three thousand, between perennial and fruitful trees and newly planted trees.”
He continued his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat by saying: “The percentage of farmers in Al-Dayer Governorate reaches more than 70 percent, according to the latest estimates. Therefore, it was called the capital of Khawlani coffee. However, this profession is full of hardships, as Al-Maliki states that it requires great care and waiting for many months, and after harvesting the fruits, the crop goes to the drying area, then the chaff, chickpeas and packaging.
And Al-Maliki, who confirms that Khawlani coffee is one of the finest types in the world, due to the fact that farmers do not use any chemical fertilizers in its cultivation, and also refrain from spraying insecticides, as they grow coffee using livestock waste (natural manure). In addition to the unique geographical location of Al-Dayer Governorate on the tops of the mountains, and the rainy weather throughout the year, which confirms that it increases the quality of coffee.
Al-Maliki points out that the Al-Dayer governorate was absent from the media for years, until its sons worked hard to highlight the identity of the Khawlani coffee through a number of annual festivals. In addition to this, the support received by the people of the province from the Commission for the Development and Reconstruction of Mountainous Regions in Jazan, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and Saudi Aramco, saying: “All of them developed our work and refined our expertise in courses, and we gained through them information that contributed to the improvement of our agriculture.”
In turn, Farhan Al-Manea Al-Maliki, the owner of Al-Manea Al-Khawlani coffee farms in Al-Dayer Governorate, explains that the current period is the time for the Khawlani coffee harvest, which does not come at once. In batches,” indicating that the fruits of the crop are red in color, and it takes about 20 days to dry them, depending on the nature of drying, and then go to the peeler and filter.
Al Maneh indicated to Asharq Al-Awsat that coffee extracted from perennial trees is the finest and best, as the lifespan of these trees extends for dozens of years, adding: “Al-Khulani coffee is one of the best types in the world, due to the nature of the environment and the mountains, so it is delicious and has a distinct flavor.” ». Regarding the amount of his farm’s production, he emphasized that it varies from year to year, depending on the availability of water and the creation of conditions.
The farmers refer to the Khawlani coffee crop by calling it “green gold”, given its high value and its different taste, which is preferred by many Saudis and the people of the neighboring Gulf countries. Saudi Arabia to add flavor and aroma.
And Al-Dayer Governorate, which is in the heart of the Jazan region, today represents the destination for investors in the cultivation of Khawlani coffee. According to the latest statistics, the number of coffee farms in the Jazan region is more than 1985, containing 340,000 coffee trees in the governorates of the mountainous sector. It produces about 1,320 tons annually, and 785 tons of pure coffee after peeling, and it hosts an annual festival to market its products. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest consumers of coffee, due to the high rate of coffee consumption per capita in Saudi Arabia. The quantities imported annually to the Saudi market of coffee are estimated at about 73,000 tons, The average expenditure of Saudis on coffee preparation exceeds one billion riyals, with a rate exceeding 80,000 tons, according to recent figures published by the Saudi Press Agency. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has started investing “Khawlani coffee” in the southwestern part of the Kingdom, which is characterized by its suitable climate for the cultivation of the most important coffee varieties, which have proven successful under the conditions of the region.
Coffee growers are looking forward to a new phase, with the Ministry of Culture initiating its work in the “Saudi Coffee Year” initiative, which comes within the Quality of Life Program, one of the programs to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The Ministry aims from the initiative to celebrate Saudi coffee as a distinctive cultural product for the Kingdom, and to contribute to its local marketing. And internationally, in addition to encouraging products and activities related to them, and highlighting them in all stages of their production, cultivation, preparation and presentation, which may not be available in the same way in any other country.
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