With the help of the Emirates Red Crescent, the charitable and humanitarian arm of the United Arab Emirates, the dates will be distributed to needy people.
ICBA manages a small plantation of several elite date palm varieties, which scientists have studied for salt tolerance since 2001.
The center’s research program on date palm has been successful in, among other things, evaluating salt tolerance among elite date palm varieties in the Arabian Peninsula, investigating the impact of irrigation water salinity on date palm quantity and quality, and determining the long-term impact of different levels of salinity on date palm growth and productivity.
Over the years, scientists have evaluated over 270 trees of date palm through a series of experiments, which have helped to identify varieties that fare better than others under saline conditions.
During a ceremony to present the dates, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA, said: “At ICBA, we are committed to helping the world’s poorest communities, particularly those living in marginal environments. Today we are delighted to partner with the Emirates Red Crescent and donate some dates produced at ICBA. The dates are intended to alleviate hunger for those receiving them through the Emirates Red Crescent. My sincerest gratitude to the Emirates Red Crescent for helping us to do our bit for the most vulnerable people.”
Mr. Mohammad Abdullah Al Haj Al Zarooni, Director of the Emirates Red Crescent Dubai Branch, said that the initiative reflects the existing social partnership between the Emirates Red Crescent and ICBA, and supports the country's strategy to enhance community responsibility among community institutions and bodies. He said that the Red Crescent Authority gives great importance to the initiative, and always strives to form strategic partnerships with all sectors of the local community.
As an applied agricultural research-for-development center, ICBA targets some of the poorest communities in regions where agriculture is the main livelihood but is failing due to salinity, water scarcity and drought and the mainstream interventions by other research and development agencies have not produced effective and lasting outcomes.