As part of its continuing efforts to improve date palm productivity, ICARDA’s Arabian Peninsula Regional Program recently held a field day in the United Arab Emirates to promote modern techniques and cultivation methods. Targeting engineers and technicians, the issues covered included ferti-irrigation, post-harvest operations and integrated pest management.
Date palm is a key commodity across 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.
Delivered by Dr. Mohamed Ben Salah, a date palm specialist, the course combined lectures with practical applications. Lectures mostly focused on fruit thinning: concept bases, the importance of fruit training to ameliorate date quality, and applied production techniques, informed by examples worldwide.
Moving forward, ICARDA is recommending that the following measures be implemented: fruit thinning should become an integral part of the technology packages being applied to date palm cultivation in UAE; researchers, engineers and technicians from UAE should network with their counterparts in neighboring countries to promote new techniques; and the continued use of ICARDA trainers to raise capacity and improve date palm production.