Long-term Date Palm Research

Season
2019-2020

Objectives:

  1. Develop, implement and integrate a system of IoT and drone-based data collection into a GIS-based AI analysis platform for continuous monitoring of the date palm plantation (Palm Smart Management Solution).
  2. Develop the Palm Smart Management Solution modules for irrigation, pollination and harvest.
  3. Develop the Palm Smart Management Solution modules for infestation surveillance, early detection and comparison of effectiveness of different new control techniques for red palm weevil.
  4. Asses the genotypic differences for fruit quality, quantity and disease and pest susceptibility.
  5. Assess the long-term impact of salinity on date palm growth, productivity and fruit quality as well as on land (soil).
  6. Conserve the existing genetic resources by replanting the missing trees using a tissue culture technique (lost after a severe disease).
  7. Determine the potential use of mycorrhizal fungal biotechnology for the management of date palm production systems under saline environments with regard to water and nutrient uptake.
  8. Scale up best management practices under salinity stress (Integrated Pest Management).

 

Since 2002, ICBA has conducted research on the long-term effect of saline water irrigation on date palm growth, productivity, and fruit quality, as well as the impact of salinity on the soil. The experiment is conducted using 18 date palm varieties irrigated with water at different levels of salinity. The varieties also include Nabtat Sultan and Am-Al-Hamam, which are found as very sensitive to salinity.

ICBA has also carried out studies to determine actual water requirements of date palm trees in the UAE and has water productivity data that helps to reduce irrigation by up to 35%.

As part of this research, ICBA also evaluates the effectiveness of different techniques for controlling red palm weevil (Rhynchophorous ferrugineus), the mostdangerous pest.

This research also involves testing and implementing a system of the internet of things (IoT) and drone-based data collection integrated into a GIS-based AI analysis platform for monitoring the date palm plantation (Palm Smart Management Solution).