Emirates International Date Palm Festival: ICBA Highlights 12 Years of Date Palm Research
There was a huge interest in ICBA’s research on date palm and forage crops from visitors from the region to the Emirates International Date Palm Festival according to Ghazi Al-Jabri, Training and Events Coordinator at ICBA. The event this year was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and attracted more than 25,000 visitors. It included popular features like traditional theater and kitchen, kids’ workshop and playground, date tree climbing, date tree planting, date tasting oasis and date museum.The Emirates International Date Palm Festival was an opportunity to show ICBA’s research on date palm irrigated with wastewater as well as treated wastewater among the local, regional and international exhibitors and visitors. It was a good venue to promote ICBA’s research in general and on forage crops in particular that can be grown in integrated systems with date palm plantations.Mr. Al Jabri highlighted ICBA’s ongoing research, since 12 years, on 18 most-demanded varieties of date palm from the Arabian Peninsula, 10 from UAE and 8 from Saudi Arabia. The aim of that research is to test the effect of different saline water (mainly ground water) on maturity and productivity of these varieties as well as determine the proper management packages including the amount of water required by the tree. A recent experiment has also started to evaluate the effect of treated wastewater on date palm trees.