Photo credit: Arab News
On August 12, 2013, photo shows a young farmer carrying a palm frond bearing dates during the dates harvest season in Disa, around 200 km from the northwestern city of Tabuk. (Reuters)
Date palm: a strategic crop for the Arabian Peninsula
Date palm is a key commodity throughout the Arabian Peninsula. In addition to its nutritional value, the crop is also an important source of feed and fuel, and can be used as building material in the construction of houses.
In order to improve the region’s date palm production, ICARDA’s Arabian Peninsula Regional Program (APRP) has initiated a number of capacity strengthening events targeting engineers, extension agents, technicians, and farmers.
A field day training at the El Hamrania Research Station in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced new date palm production techniques to staff from the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, including fertigation, post-harvest operations, and integrated pest management (IPM), a practical and environmentally-friendly approach to pest control that emphasizes the use of cultural and biological interventions, and only supports the targeted use of chemical interventions when alternative methods have been exhausted, costs are not excessive, and there is no threat to existing agro-ecosystems.
The training combined lectures and practical applications, including pollen handling and storage, and compared the advantages of various pollination methods such as liquid pollen suspension, dry pollination, and traditional hand pollination.
Moving forward, it is recommended that liquid pollination be applied early in the growing season and that further capacity strengthening be provided to equip practitioners with the necessary skills to effectively apply this methodology.
Read the full article: ICARDA
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