From the Newsroom
São Paulo – The coffee production in Saudi Arabia is expected to surpass 300 tons by the end of 2020 due to increased production in the Jazan region (pictured) in the Southwest of the Arab country, near the border with Yemen, with just over 120,000 residents. The 7th Coffee Beans Festival starts on January 30 and runs until February 5 amid these expectations.
“This year’s festival is completely different in terms of activities, with more focus on displaying the local products of Saudi coffee bean farmers,” Mefarah Al-Malki, director of the festival, told Saudi newspaper Arab News. “There are new programs to turn the spotlight on the achievements of Saudi young men and women,” he added.
Award-winning coffee farmer Hussain Hadi Al-Malki, from Al-Dayer governorate, said the Jazan region produced 250 tons of coffee beans last year, but this year production will reach 300 tons. He added that Al-Dayer accounts for 80% of Jazan’s coffee bean production, and that the number of coffee farmers in the region has exceeded 700.
Coffee bean trees are planted and cultivated at an altitude of 800-2,000 meters above sea level. The higher the altitude, the greater the yield and quality. The bean trees need special care, and take up to five years from the time a seed is planted until production.
Hussain said coffee trees should be pruned properly, and their top branches should be cut off so the tree is not taller than 2 meters.
“Planting coffee trees in the kingdom faces several challenges such as labor, water for irrigation and costs. There are no real capital investments in this field,” he told Arab News. “Farmers need support from the time they grow coffee beans to the yield stage in order to cover associated expenses and costs,” he finished.
The Saudi Heritage Preservation Society asked the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to provide protection for the ancient art of Khawlani coffee making in Saudi Arabia. The Arab tradition passed down from one generation to the next since the ancient tribes of the Khawlan, who cultivated Khawlani coffee beans over 300 years ago.
Efforts to start preserving this legacy started in 2019 by documenting the cultivation process of Khawlani coffee beans. Being passed down orally, the coffee growing techniques are crucial to the preservation of the nation’s cultural identity as well as the Islam history, as the coffee was grown by Sufi monks in Yemen.
*With information from Arab News newspaper.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda