Infographic: Where do your Ramadan dates come from? | Infographic news

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Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran produce nearly half of the world’s dates.

Tuesday marks the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in many countries around the world.
Practicing Muslims fast daily this month, refraining from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex during the day to achieve greater “taqwa,” or God-consciousness.

At sunset, many Muslims will reach a date, a sweet brown fruit, to break their fast.

Dates, fresh or dried, contain important vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from several diseases.

Given their high level of fructose, a natural sugar found in fruits, dates are an excellent source of energy, especially after a long day of fasting.

Dates come in different shapes and sizes, the infographic below shows some of them:

Top date producers

Each year, at least nine million metric tonnes of dates are produced, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Dates tend to thrive in countries with long, hot summers like those in the Middle East and neighboring countries.

Egypt is the world’s largest supplier of dates, producing almost one in five or 18 percent of the world.

Saudi Arabia follows with 17%, with Iran rounding the top three to 15%.

The infographic below shows where most of the dates in the world come from:

Interesting facts about dates

Dates have been cultivated for thousands of years. Date palms are either male or female, with only the female plant producing fruit.

A mature date palm can produce more than 100 kg (220 pounds) of dates per harvest season, or about 10,000 dates.

The Ajwa date, which grows in Medina, Saudi Arabia, is the most expensive date in the world.

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