The importance of scientific innovation and technology for improving date palm production systems and the industry in the Gulf region was emphasized at the 10th annual steering committee and technical coordination meeting of ICARDA’s Date Palm Project held in Dubai, UAE, from 30-31 August 2015.
The project on ‘Development of Sustainable Date Palm Production Systems in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries’ funded by GCC secretariat aims to develop and enhance new knowledge and technology packages to improve the production systems of date palm in the Gulf region.
The meeting was attended by researchers from the six GCC countries of Bahrain, Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as representatives from the GCC General Secretariat and international and regional organizations including ICARDA, International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), and Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA).
In the opening Statement Dr. Kamel Shideed, ADG-International Cooperation and Communication, welcomed the participants and presented the new CGIAR strategy and its outcomes, targets, thematic research priorities and deliverables.
Dr. Kamel Shideed with H.E Abdel Rahim Al Hammadi, the Undersecretary of UAE’s the Ministry of Environment and Water
Main sessions focused on capacity building activities to strengthen the scientific knowledge of researchers on target technologies, research related problem solving activities among the six GCC countries, and technology transfer of proven techniques among participating countries. Project activities and achievements of the 2014-2015 season and proposed work plan for 2016 were also discussed.
H.E Abdel Rahim Al Hammadi, the newly appointed Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Water, UAE (MOEW) received Dr. Shideed and Dr. Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, ICARDA-APRP RC, on 31st August 2015. They discussed ICARDA’s Arabian Peninsula Regional Program (APRP) that works on the applied research, transfer of technology and the further development of more productive and sustainable rangeland and irrigated systems, including protected agriculture, through the more efficient use of natural resources – water, energy, and indigenous plant species.
The meeting focused on exploring and discussing innovative research on improving the resistance of date palm to major pests in the UAE and Gulf region in general.