Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, hosts
H.E. Ali Abu Sabea, Director General, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), by organizing a scientific virtual lecture on
With the attendance of 117 experts and specialists, and representing 16 countries.
Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation General Secretariat, organized a scientific virtual lecture on the “ICARDA’s efforts and achievements in developing the date palm cultivation sector in the GCC”, presented by H.E. Ali Abu Sabea, ICARDA’s Director General, on Tuesday 27th of July, 2021, with the attendance of 117 experts and specialists representing 16 Arab countries. Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Award’s Secretary General, noted that this virtual lecture comes under the directives of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Chairman of the Award’s Board of Trustees, and within the Award’s framework and commitment to spread the scientific knowledge and awareness specialized in date palm cultivation and agricultural innovation.
H.E. Ali Abu Sabea from his side highlighted the center’s strategic importance in the Middle East since its establishment in 1997, as a platform for conducting research and reaching results that can be applied to Arab countries and across the center’s mandate on non-tropical dry lands. Pointing out the importance of the sustainable date Palm production systems in the GCC development project, which was launched by ICARDA in 2006, in cooperation with all national agricultural research centers in the GCC countries, aiming to develop the date palm cultivation sector according to sustainable production systems. Where the ICARDA project’s phases focused on the application of applied research programs that correspond to the priorities of countries in five aspects: Crop management, Post-harvest transactions, Integrated pest control, Biotechnology, and Economic and social studies.
H.E. Abu Sabea then pointed out the fact that the project that was carried out during the period (2006-2018) did implement 156 research, focusing on technology transfer and capacity building, including liquid pollination, where the number of date palms pollinated with this technology reached 450,000. This technology also showed a decrease in the cost of pollination by 80%. Drones were also used as a pollination technique. Subsurface irrigation, bubble irrigation, drip irrigation under low pressure, and fertilization irrigation techniques were also used in order to improve water use efficiency and production quality. In addition to applying the technology of Mycorrhiza to improve the rooting of tissue culture derived shoots and stimulate their growth, and dates drying technique through polycarbonate chambers and integration in the field of integrated control between agricultural research systems, especially in the field of testing the effectiveness of bio-pesticides and the results of insect surveys and natural (biological) pests.
H.E. Abu Sabea, then indicated that the sustainable date Palm production systems in the GCC development project, was able to achieve distinguished results in research field, and to succeed in building an integrated relationship between the participating countries in the field of developing the date palm sector, especially in the areas of: technology transfer, capacity building, exchanging information, experiences and results, building integrated relationships at the technical and personal levels, and making the exchange of experience and information cross-border.
H.E. Ali Abu Sabea, then concluded the lecture by highlighting the great role played by the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation in supporting and developing the date palm cultivation sector and the date production, through the organizing of Jordan International Date Palm Festival, Sudan International Date Palm Festival, and Egypt International Date Palm Festival and the accompanying activities and events. Which actively contributed to the increase of the reputation of the Arab dates and the volume of exports, in addition to the series of international conferences organized by the Award’s General Secretariat.