Under the directives of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, published
Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, the Award’s General Secretary published the Second set of booklets (10 booklets), under the series “50 Booklets in the in the Year of Fiftieth”, which was which was launched by the award to celebrate the “Year of the Fiftieth”. Where the initiative aims to spread specialized scientific knowledge in compliance with the Award’s objectives and transfer knowledge to farmers and interested people working in the date palm cultivation, date production, and agricultural innovation sectors, at the national, and international levels.
Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Award’s Secretary General, also highlighted the fact that the second set of booklets were launched in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the UAE’s Founding, and coinciding with “Year of the Fiftieth”, which will attract a large group of specialized academic expertise from inside and outside the UAE, covering scientific, technical material as well as innovative success stories. The booklets will also cover the use of artificial intelligence and the prospect of the agricultural future, in a way that contributes to supporting the scientific knowledge infrastructure related to the date palm cultivation, date production, and agricultural innovation sectors. The series of booklets and other publications are all available to the public readers through the Award’s Electronic Library, via the following link ( www.ekiaai.com ), also added Dr. Zaid.
The second set of 10 booklets from the 50 Booklets series included the following:
1. Sultan Al Kuwaiti, Al Falaj and Date Palm memories in the United Arab Emirates
The study prepared by Mr. Hassan Bahamed, a journalist specialized in the United Arab Emirates heritage, Director of the Ain Center for Media and Archive, pointed out the historical importance of the “ Underground water source” (Arabic name – Al Falaj), which was the source of water used for agriculture, especially in Al Ain city, where the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, “May God rest his soul in peace”, directed to take good care of the “ Underground water source”, and to spare no effort in providing farmers with easy access to water. Mr. Sultan Ahmed Al Kuwaiti also carried a great role, as he was keen to implement the directives of the Late Sheikh Zayed, to restore and repair all the Falaj areas, and preserve water resources. Where Mr. Al Kuwaiti is familiar with the background story and details of each “Underground water source”, which supported preserving this important natural heritage wealth found in Al Ain city.
2. ICARDA’s efforts in developing the date palm sector in the Arab world.
The study prepared by Dr. Aly Abou Sabaa, Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), emphasized the organization’s strategic importance in the Middle East, since its founding in 1997, as it represents a research platform that aims to find new solutions and techniques, that can be implemented to the Arab countries’ cultivation practices, as well as tropical dry lands. Dr. Aly also pointed out the importance of the project in developing sustainable date palm production systems in the GCC countries, which was launched by ICARDA in 2006, in coordination with all national agricultural research centers in the GCC, with the aim of developing date palm cultivation in accordance with sustainable production systems, where the projects’ stages focused on the application of research programs that correspond to the priorities of each country, according to five categories: Crop management, Post-harvest practices, Integrated pest control, Bio-technology, and Economic and social studies.
3. Delicious meals prepared from dates
Chef Manal Al Alem, Goodwill Ambassador, UN World Food Programme (WFP), has chosen to present some of the most delicious recipes, that suits different tastes, and which included appetizers, main course dishes, and desserts, that can be easily prepared, in very simple steps, as the ingredients are listed in cup / teaspoon measuring, which encourages enjoying cooking such delicious dishes, and benefiting from the countless dates’ nutritional values. Some recipes are also suitable for children, as it will encourage them to eat dates in a creative way. It is also important to make gifting dates to loved ones a followed habit.
4. International Dates Marketing
The study prepared by Dr. Abdallah Oihabi, International expert in the dates value chain and good agricultural practices, presented that date palm trees is considered one of the most strategic crops in the Arab date producing countries, in the Middle East and North Africa. Where the date trade and its by-products is considered a main source of income to people living in desert regions of these countries. An analysis of international date production and marketing indicates that over the last 10 years, the global date production has rised to reach 8,166,014 tons in 2017, as the Arab countries’ date production over the last 10 years represents about 75% of total international date production.
5. The most important pests and fungus that affects date palm trees
The study, prepared by Dr. Walid Kaakeh, Consultant and agricultural expert, highlighted the scientific progress that helped the application of several methods and techniques, that helps in controlling many economically affecting date palm tree pests, which contributed to the success of many different control programs and reduced the damage caused by these pests. Awareness and guidance are the first line of defense to reduce the spread of certain pests and to identify and solve such problems, is the responsibility of agricultural guides and those responsible for the protection of date palm trees.
6. Date palm and adapting to climate variables
The study prepared by Dr. Abdulbasit Oudah Ibrahim, Consultant in the Regional Programme for the Arabian Peninsula (APRP), indicated that The International Committee on Climate Change (ICRC), confirms that the Arab region will be the most vulnerable to the potential impacts of climate change, as it includes the driest regions in the world, where these changes will lead to having high temperatures, and low rainfall rates, which will in return reflect negatively on the agricultural production, and will cause environmental stress.
7. Good date palm agricultural practices
The study, prepared by Dr. Ramzi Abdul Rahim, Director of Technical Affairs and Studies, in the Agricultural Department, Department of Saleh Al Rajhi endowments, pointed out the agricultural and economical importance of farmers to have the certificate of good agricultural practices (Global Gap), focusing on four main categories: the introduction of the certificate, and the purpose of obtaining it, who provides it and its financial cost. As well as the needed criteria to obtain the certificate, the evaluation process and how to qualify the farm to get the certificate.
8. Sustainable gardener’s intensification to meet agricultural challenges
The study prepared by Dr. Sherif Al Sharbasi, an International expert in date cultivation and production, indicated that the agricultural situation in the Arab world is experiencing a state a major challenge and decrease in food resources, due to several factors, as the most important is the increase in the population and decrease in water resources, in addition to the negative effects of climate change, and the decline of agricultural areas. This led to creating a new global agricultural system, to ensure that agricultural production meets the growing demand, which is called sustainable horticulture intensification.
9. Dates’ storage – cooling and freezing techniques
The study, prepared by Dr. Noutfia Younis, a specialist in the food industry, from the National Institute of Agricultural Research, Kingdom of Morocco, indicated ways to store dates in conditions that allow them to maintain their quality from the field through the refrigeration stores, and how to control freezing and cooling standards. Dates are sensitive in terms of storage conditions, especially soft varieties, which are often subject to a range of chemical and microbial damage, and factors that adversely affect their consumption, and nutritional quality, as well as their marketing value.
10. Date palm cultivation strategy in the Republic of Sudan
The study prepared by Dr. Daoud Hussein Daoud, National Coordinator of the Date Palm Research Network in ACSAD, in the Republic of Sudan, referred to the most important date varieties, and their geographical distribution in Sudan, such as batmuda, Qandiliya in northern Sudan, and commercial varieties such as Al-Barkawi, Al-Qamla, Al-Daqna, half-dry dates such as Mashreq, Dalqai, Wood Khatib, Shanada, and soft dates such as Al-Brier, Medina, Zaghloul, Al-Hayani and Al-Khodawi. In addition, the newly imported varieties such as Al-Barhi, Al-Maghaal, and Al-Saqai.