The Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform has set the dates for the start of the current olive harvest in the governorates where this cultivation is spread, and the proper methods of harvesting and packing.
According to a ministry statement, SANA received a copy of it, harvesting has been started several days ago in Lattakia governorate, while the first of October was set as the date for harvesting the season in the province of Raqqa, the tenth of it in Homs, the fifteenth of it in Hama, the twenty-first in the countryside of Damascus, As-Suwayda, Daraa, Quneitra, and the first of October The second is in Idlib, Aleppo and the rest of the provinces.
The Ministry also set a date for the opening of the presses a week before the date set for harvesting in each governorate to carry out maintenance, cleaning and preparation for the olive press season.
The director of the olive office in the ministry, Engineer Muhammad Habo, confirmed in a statement to SANA’s delegate that the implementation of the harvesting process at the appropriate time and method is one of the most important factors affecting the quantity and quality of production from “olives and oil” in addition to the effect of these two factors on the quantity of production in the next season, indicating that the harvest dates differ Depending on the variety and the purpose of using the olive fruits "for the table or for oil", the prevailing climatic conditions, the geographical location of the orchard, the soil characteristics, the density of the crop on the trees, and the method of harvesting manually or automatically.
Habo explained that the degree of ripeness of olive fruits goes through two stages, the first is called physiological ripeness, which is the transformation of the color of the fruits from green to yellowish green, and the second is full ripeness, which transforms the color of 60 percent of the fruits into purple and then black, and then the proportion of oil reaches its maximum.
According to Habo, the harvest is classified according to its dates into three types: early harvest that causes loss of part of the oil, since the fruits have not reached the stage of ideal maturity, and the late harvest is in which the organoleptic properties of the oil are lost and becomes less stable and the ideal harvest is in the ideal period in which olive fruits achieve the highest stock of Premium quality oil with highly perceptual properties.
Habo believed that manual harvesting of olive fruits is one of the best methods, as it preserves the integrity of the olive fruits from bruises and wounds and does not harm the branches and fruit branches, pointing out that some follow the automatic method by means of machines carried on the shoulder, "the pneumatic comb or electric vibrator" while harvesting olives with the stick is a method. Wrong and not good phenomenon for the olive tree, because it breaks a large number of fruiting branches and recent growth.
Hapo stressed the need to separate the fruits falling on the ground from the freshly harvested fruits, because remaining fruits on the ground for several weeks lead to spoilage, which negatively affects the quality of the oil produced. Therefore, the fallen fruits must be squeezed alone.
Habo indicated that the olive fruits should be filled with plastic boxes with side openings that allow air to pass in to prevent the high temperatures resulting from the vital activity of the fruits and not to fill them with burlap or plastic bags so that the quality of the resulting oil is not affected. The olive fruits must be transported to the press within a maximum of 48 hours and it is preferable to squeeze them. Immediately after harvesting.