Date Palm Production Systems in Saline Environments
The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW), in collaboration with the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), organized a specialized training on “Date Palm Production Systems in Saline Environments” on 26-28 November 2013, at the ICBA campus in Dubai.In his closing remarks, Dr Ahmed Al Sharif, Deputy Director General of ICBA, highlighted the major benefits from this training and encouraged the participants to make the best use of the information provided. He asked participants to maintain an open dialogue with ICBA and its scientists as they take the knowledge that they acquired and apply it in their institutions. Dr Al Sharif thanked the MOEW for the strong partnership and collaboration with ICBA on various training courses. He thanked each of Dr Ismail Al Hosani, Director of Extension Services at the Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Service Center, and Dr Mohammed Badawi, General Manager of Emirates Bio Fertilizer Factory, for their respective lectures and sharing their experiences during this training program; in addition, he thanked ICBA trainers: Dr. Abdullah Al-Dakheel, Dr. Khaled Masmoudi, and Eng. Abdul Qader Abdul Rahman.Participants in this course expressed their great satisfaction from the information learned. Mr. Ali Hassan Al Hamoudi, from the Department of Agricultural Research at MOEW, said that he was particularly impressed by information received on date palm in saline environments and the quality of the dates. He is eager to go back to his work and raise the issues learned with his management for some immediate actions that, according to him, could add large value in many areas where they have been facing challenges with regards to dates in saline environments.Mr. Saleh Abdallah Abdelaziz, from the MOEW in the Northern Region of Ras Al Khaimah, said that date palms are of strategic importance for the UAE and are at the core of the food security of this nation; the information provided in this course about the various possibilities in irrigating using salty water and in best practices for soil management could help in providing a sustainable environment for date palms in the UAE. We encourage extending this training to the rest of our colleagues in the Ministry and to the farmers in the UAE.This course focused on the importance of date palm in the region and salinity impact on growth and production. It also covered the improvement of salinity tolerance in date palm through biotechnology and enhancing date palm seedling establishment and early growth under stress condition. In addition, the lectures tackled the effects of organic fertilizer on growth and yield of date palm trees with emphases on stress conditions.