10 World’s Biggest Countries in Dates Production

The 10 World’s Biggest Countries in Dates Production -Dates is one of the favorite fruits of many people and widely served as several dishes for breaking the fast and religious events of the world’s Muslims. Date palm is considered as one of the oldest fruit trees domesticated by people. Probably, the earliest wild findings of date palm were recorded around 5000–6000 B.C. from Iran, Egypt and Pakistan. Furthermore, the earliest cultivations were found around 4000 B.C. from Eridu and Lower Mesopotamia (Hadrani & Hadrani, 2009).  Etymologically, the scientific name of date palm is Phoenix dactylifera. This word is derived from ‘Phoenix’, the legendary bird of old Greece, and ‘dactylos’ meaning ‘finger’ considering the shape of the fruit (Hadrani & Hadrani, 2009). . Until now, dates cultivation and farming spread over in several countries because of the various health benefits in the nutritional content of this fruit.

The Dates Fruits (Phoenix dactylifera)

Dates palm is a diploid (2n = 2x = 36), perennial, and monocotyledonous plant belonging to Palmaceae (Barrow, 1998). Taxonomically, the date palm tree or Phoenix dactylifera belong to the Order of Arecales and Family Arecaceae so that it is still closely related to oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), coconut (Cocos nucifera L), and other palm tree species. Dates trees are also often referred to as the fruit of the prophet because of the various positive benefits it provides for human health.

The World’s Area Harvested and World’s Production of Dates Fruits From 1970 to 2022

YearWorld’s Area HarvestedWorld’s Production of Date Fruits
(Hectare)(Tons)
1970265,3651,881,730
1971298,5782,109,412
1972300,3502,031,918
1973304,6662,179,223
1974333,9082,289,511
1975330,1352,423,988
1976338,8462,256,881
1977328,5692,659,513
1978350,9982,459,666
1979366,1182,683,037
1980359,3552,659,406
1981370,0322,372,927
1982418,6082,601,013
1983390,0352,685,466
1984395,9152,631,789
1985543,3822,819,692
1986580,3712,966,905
1987578,8033,051,401
1988595,3423,155,783
1989619,8463,430,585
1990625,0853,430,883
1991656,2513,708,098
1992664,1623,656,283
1993729,4224,386,304
1994787,8464,569,534
1995829,8934,850,371
1996876,9665,018,428
1997898,3745,088,669
1998897,1525,732,949
19991,003,8125,948,312
20001,051,5286,440,511
20011,058,4046,659,974
20021,086,4256,720,509
20031,095,2576,748,537
20041,068,3606,626,307
20051,079,0846,551,419
20061,144,8356,770,193
20071,181,5216,962,971
20081,181,5077,018,490
20091,199,7737,184,081
20101,281,9577,527,765
20111,125,2777,265,034
20121,113,6427,432,484
20131,155,8697,522,861
20141,152,0847,428,940
20151,123,1528,094,353
20161,182,9708,316,006
20171,187,6608,404,449
20181,243,4398,767,836
20191,283,2389,216,541
20201,257,8669,470,322
20211,261,6339,867,985
20221,270,2869,747,570
Source : FAOSTAT, 2024

Statistically, the cultivation and production areas of dates palm has increased gradually from time to time. In the year of 1970, the world’s area harvested 265,365 hectare with world’s Production of Dates reaching 1,881,730 tons. After more than 50 years, excatly in 2022, the world’s production of Dates in 2022 reached 9.7 millions with harvested area of dates around the world reached 1.27 millions hectares.

The World’s Production of Dates Fruits Based on Continent in 2022

ContinentProduction of Date Fruits in 2022
(Tons)
Africa4,198,111
Americas80,267
Asia5,457,108
Europe12,084
Source : FAOSTAT, 2024

Specifically, according to continent regions based on FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), the cultivation and production of date fuits spread out across the continent. Asia still became the main growing area with output of fruits reaching 5,457,108 tons in 2022. In addition, Africa is the second biggest acrea of fruit production of dates with total output reaching 4,198,111 tons. Meanwhile, the minor regions of dates palm located in Americas (80,267 tons) and Europe (12,084 tons).

Statistically, along with the increasing demand and the various positive benefits, many countries cultivate date palms. FAOSTAT (FAO Statistical Databases) data from the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), from the United Nations (UN), has recorded the 10 World’s Biggest Countries in Dates Production of 2022. Below are data on the 10 largest date-producing countries in 2022.



Table 10 World’s Biggest Countries in Dates Production of 2020, 2021, and 2022 According to the FAOStatistical Database (FAOSTAT) from FAO, United Nations (UN).

RankCountriesProduction in 2020Production in 2021Production in 2022
(Tons)(Tons)(Tons)
1Egypt1,711,2001,747,7151,733,432
2Saudi Arabia1,541,7691,565,8301,610,731
3Algeria1,151,9091,188,8031,247,404
4Iran (Islamic Republic of)1,281,9761,303,7171,030,460
5Pakistan560,184532,880732,936
6Iraq735,353750,225715,293
7Sudan465,323460,097442,667
8United Arab Emirates351,462351,077397,329
9Oman368,577374,200376,980
10Tunisia332,000345,000369,000
Source : FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT,2024)

Source ; FAOStat, 2024



To add a brief overview of the conditions of date palm cultivation in each of the biggest countries in the world,  this will be shown some brief descriptions of statistics and an overview of date palm cultivation in the 6 World’s Biggest Countries in Dates Production of 2022.

The brief Description Dates Fruits Producers


Brief Description of Dates Fruits Producers

1.Egypt

Egypt is the world’s largest date palm producer in 2022 with total production reaching 1,711,200 tons. In this country, the types of dates planted are classified based on geographic conditions, namely soft (43.5%), semiarid (19%), and arid (2.5%). Agronomically, the date palms in this Pyramid Country are mostly planted in the Nile Valley and around the Eastern desert oasis but the Nile River delta is the largest region with its production contribution reaching 1/3 of Egypt’s national production. From a genetic perspective, the cultivars/types of dates area spread over Hayany (soft), Zaghloul (soft), Siwy (semiarid). In this country, the harvesting time is around September-November (Bekheet, 2015).


2.Saudi Arabia       

Saudi Arabia is the second-largest date palm producer in the world in 2022 with a total production of 1,541,769 tons. Statistically, the distribution of date palm plantations can be found in several regions. Riyadh, Qassim, eastern province, and Medina are the largest date-growing areas in the country. Dates have become the main commodity from this country due to an increase in the population of date palm cultivation in this country. From 1990 to 2011, the total plant population and the area for planting date palms in Saudi Arabia have increased from 13 million to 25 million trees and an increase in area from 55,000 ha to 170,000 ha (Al-Redhaiman, 2014).


3.Algeria      

Algeria is the 3rd largest date palm producer in the world in 2022 with a total production of 1,247,404 tons. About 18 million date palms are cultivated in this country with a land area of about 169,380 hectares (ha). Statistics show that date palm production in Algeria is mainly concentrated in the southeastern part of the country, which accounts for 76% of the national production. Biskra Province ranks first with a contribution of almost 31%, followed by El Oued (27%) and Ouargla with 18% contribution to national production. Deglet Noor, Degla Beida, and Tafezwin dates are some of the most popular dates in Algeria and have been exported to other countries (Nadia et al, 2015).


4. Iran

Iran is the 4th biggest date producer in the world of 2022 with total production reaching 1,030,460 tons. In this country, date palm plantations spread over in the South, Southeast, and Southwestern regions of Iran. The types of dates grown in this country vary according to the geographical and climatic conditions of the region. Types of Bam Mazafati Dates, Piarom Dates, Kalute Dates, Zahedi Wet Dates, Dried Zahedi Dates, Kabkab Dates, Sayer Dates, Rabbi Dates, Lulu Dates, Shahani Dates are some of the popular dates in Iran (Ario, 2020).


5. Pakistan   

Pakistan is the 5th biggest date producer in the world of 2022 with total production reaching 732,936 tons. Statistically, Balochistan and Sindh provinces account for around 90% of Pakistan’s total date production. Meanwhile, when viewed from the type of dates planted, several cultivars/types of dates planted and popular in this country include Begum Jangi, Muzawati, Kehraba, and Rabai. Statistically, 80% of date production is prioritized for domestic consumption and only 20% of dates from Pakistan are exported abroad. Geographically, in Pakistan, there are main regions for date cultivation. These areas include Khairpur district and the Panjgur District.


6. Iraq

Iraq is the 6th largest date palm producer in the world of 2022 with total production reaching 715,293 tons. In this country, the population of date palms is more than 15 million trees scattered in several regions. Some of the areas that are the center of the country’s date palm cultivation are Babylon, Baghdad, Diyala, Karbala, and Basrah. In terms of type, dates grown in Iraq and considered to have high commercial value included Zahidi, Halawy, Sayer, Khadrawy, Khastawi, and Dayri (Khierallah, et al., 2015).


7. Sudan

Sudan is the 7th biggest producer of dates in 2022. According to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), the production of Dates from Sudan reached 442,667 tons. Geographically, in Sudan, there are main regions for date cultivation.  Bilad al-Mahas, Sukut, Dongola, Dar al-Shaiqiyah, Dar al-Manasir, Dar al-Rubatab and the areas around Bauqah and Berber along  the Nile boast extensive date cultivation areas.


8. Uni Arab Emirates

Uni Arab Emirates is the 8th biggest producer in 2022. According to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), the production of Dates from Uni Arab Emirates reached 397,980 tonnes.


9. Oman

Oman is the 9th biggest producer of Dates in 2022. According to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), the production of Dates from Oman reached 376,980 tons. Geographically, in Oman, there are main regions for date cultivation.  Nizwa and Suwaiq are some of the main regions of dates cultivation in Oman

10. Tunisia

Tunisia is 10th biggest producer in 2022. According to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), the production of Dates from Tunisia reached 369,000 tons. Geographically, in Tunisia, there are main regions for date cultivation. Djerid and Kebili are some of the main regions of dates cultivation in Tunisia.


The Summary of 10 World’s Biggest Producers of Dates Fruits in 2022



Harvested areas and World's Production of Dates Fruits From 2000 to 2022


Production of Dates Fruits Based on Continent in 2022


10 World's Biggest Country's Producers of Dates in 2020, 2021, and 2022


Bibliography of World’s Biggest Countries in Date Production


Thank you and hopefully, it can be useful.


Source 10 World’s Biggest Countries in Date Production of 2022:

FAOSTAT. 2024. Production of Dates: top 10 producers 2022. Available at
https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QCL/visualize on March 10th, 2024.

Barrow, S. 1998. A monograph of Phoenix L. (Palmae: Coryphoideae). Kew Bul. 53:513–575.

Hadrami, I.E., Hadrami, A.E. (2009). Breeding Date Palm. In: Jain, S.M., Priyadarshan, P.M. (eds) Breeding Plantation Tree Crops: Tropical Species. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-71201-7_6

Abul-Soad, A.A., Mahdi S.M., Markhand G.S. 2015. Date Palm Status and Perspective in Pakistan. In: Al-Khayri J., Jain S., Johnson D. (eds) Date Palm Genetic Resources and Utilization. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9707-8_5

Al-Redhaiman, K. 2014. Date Palm Cultivation in Saudi Arabia: Current Status and Future Prospects for Development. Conference: 2014 ASHS Annual Conference

Ario. 2020. Date Fruit Production in Iran. Accessed via http://www.datefruit.ir/ on May 4, 2021.

Bekheet, S & S.El-Sharabasy. 2015. Date Palm Status and Perspective in Egypt. DOI: 10.1007 / 978-94-017-9694-1_3.

FAOSTAT. 10-Production of Dates: top 10 producers. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations (UN). Accessed via http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QC/visualize on 23 April 2021.

Khierallah, H.S.M., Bader S.M., Ibrahim K.M., Al-Jboory I.J. 2015. Date Palm Status and Perspective in Iraq. In: Al-Khayri J., Jain S., Johnson D. (eds) Date Palm Genetic Resources and Utilization. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9707-8_4.

Nadia, B., Malika.K & Souad.B., Benziouche. S.E. 2015. Date Palm Status and Perspective in Algeria. DOI: 10.1007 / 978-94-017-9694-1_4

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