The Conference on the Investment in the Date Palm Sector (Reality and Prospects) was held by the Directorate General of the Million Date Palm Plantation Project at the Diwan of the Royal Court in Muscat, Oman from May 23-25, 2016 under the auspices of Dr. Fuad bin Jaafar al Sajwani, the Oman Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The conference stressed the importance of date palms in food production to achieve food security. A host of papers, 46 in total, were presented as lectures and posters at the conference; they focused on field of date palm production protection and dates commercialization.
An ICARDA team from the KSA, Bahrain and Oman were present at the conference, along with one representative from GCC. ICARDA team members presented seven papers about the results of the "Development of Sustainable Production Systems for Date Palms in the Arabian Gulf Countries of Arab Peninsula" project that focused on date palm field operations, post-harvest operations, integrated pest management, biotechnology, and genetic resources.
The titles of the papers were as such:
1. The Project "Development of Sustainable Production Systems for Date Palms in the Arabian Gulf” - An Example of a Participatory Approach to the Advancement of the Date Palm in the Arab Gulf.
2. Water Savings in Arid Regions: A Comparison of Surface and Subsurface Drip Irrigation Systems for the Irrigation of Date Palm.
3. The Effectiveness of Certain Bio-Pesticides Against the Dust Mite (Oligonychus afrasiaticus) in Date Palm.
4. Certain Environmental Aspects and the Vitality of the Palm Root Borers Oryctes Agamemnon Arabicus Fairmaire and Oryctes Elegans Prell (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
5. A Survey of the Types of Insects and Spiders on Date Palm Plantations in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
6. Drying Dates in Polycarbonate Houses.
7. An Assessment of Genetic Diversity Among Date Palm Cultivars in Gulf Countries Using Microsatellite Markers.