Integration of biotechnology products for date palm pest management

Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, hosts
Dr. Mohamed Al Saeed Saleh Al Zmeiti, President of the Egyptian Society for Integrated Pest Management, by organizing a virtual lecture on
With the attendance of 127 experts and specialists, and representing 16 countries.

Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation’s General Secretariat, organized a virtual lecture on “Integration of biotechnology products for date palm pest management”, presented by Dr. Mohamed Al Saeed Saleh Al Zmeiti, Pesticides Professor, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University, Arab Republic of Egypt, on Monday 11th of October, 2021, with the attendance of 127 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.

From his side, Dr. Mohamed Al Zmeiti, confirmed the presence of more than 100 possible pests that affect date palm trees, some of which infects the fronds, others affect flowering inflorescences and pollen, where some affect the trunk, roots and fruits. Dr. Al Zmeiti, also pointed out that the current practices followed in pest control, in most of the Arab region, are divided into two procedures, the first is to use traditional pesticides only as one way to solve the problem (farmers who do not adopt integrated pest management), while the second path, is to integrate more than one control method together, including the application of pesticides (IPM growers). Dr. Al Zmeiti, then explained the concepts and principles of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system, and the importance of providing the opportunity for each of its program components to perform their function so that the maximum benefit can be achieved from the adoption and implementation of the system.

Dr. Al Zmeiti, then added that biotechnology is concerned with the application of biological systems and living organisms or their derivatives, to make, modify, or process products for a specific use, where agricultural biotechnology can provide a wide range of benefits to farmers and society in terms of improving productivity and sustainability, developing new industries and improving the ability to face challenges arising from adverse environmental conditions and limiting their effect. Biotechnologies play an important role in improving performance for better pest management, and their traditional pest control products include a full range of biological agents /materials including all types of biological agents, which consist of materials/microbial agents, natural enemies, parasites, and plant-based materials. Dr. Al Zmeiti then explained that traditional biotechnology products used in pest management, include microbial substances, entomopathogenic bacteria, bacterial insecticides, bio-nano materials, natural enemies, predators, parasites, parasitoids, herbivores, and sterile insect technology such as fruit flies, and plant-based materials that include insecticidal plant extracts, pheromones, nutritional inhibitors, attractants and repellents.

Dr. Mohamed Al Zmeiti, 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.

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