Long-Term Experiment on Evaluation of Elite Date Palm Varieties for Biotic and Abiotic Stress in Conjunction with Paired Drones, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things

Research Innovation Theme: Crop Improvement and Sustainable Production

Project Details: Date of Planting: 2001 and 2002 Field Variables:

  • Date Palm Varieties:  18 (10 from UAE; 7 from Saudi Arabia and 1 from Iraq)
  • Salinity levels: 4 (0.4 dS/m, 5 dS/m,  10 dS/m  and 15 dS/m )
  • Replications: 2 for 0.4 dS/m, 3 for 5 dS/m and 5 each for 10 and 15 dS/m  
  • Planting arrangement: Systematic planting in rows within each salinity level


  1. Assess the long-term impact of salinity on date palm growth, productivity and fruit quality as well as on land (soil).
  2. Asses the genotypic differences for fruit quality, quantity and disease and pest susceptibility.
  3. Scale up best management practices under salinity stress (Integrated Pest Management)
  4. 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).
  5. Develop the Palm Smart Management Solution modules for irrigation, pollination and harvesting.
  6. Develop the Palm Smart Management Solution modules for conducting complete infestation surveillance and early detection and comparing the effectiveness of different new control techniques for red palm weevil.
  7. Conserve the existing genetic resources by replanting the missing trees using a tissue culture technique (lost due to a severe disease).

Project Team: Drs. Zied Hammami, Ali El Battay, Henda Mahmoudi, Rashyd Zaaboul, Khalil Ammar, Mohammad Shahid, R.K. Singh