Project Development of Sustainable Date Palm Production Systems in the GCC Countries of the Arabian Peninsula: Objectives, Activities and Major Achievements
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The project Development of Sustainable Date Palm Production systems in the GCC Countries of the Arabian Peninsula, is executed in the six GCC countries (Oman, UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait) and financed by the GCC. The project aims to: Use of Proper agro-management techniques, develop of proper IPM programs against pests and diseases, Development of proper post-harvest techniques to reduce losses, and improve marketing, Characterize and finger prints the major date palm local cultivars, reinforce building of national programs in the area of date palm agro-management and Enhance Networking capabilities for the exchange of information, databases, services derived from the project activities. The project has 4 technical fields in problem-solving research component (Propagation and Crop Management, Integrated Pest Management, Postharvest and processing and Biotechnology and Genetic Resources conservation). In the Capacity Building component, the project provides specialized training to strength the national agricultural research systems. In the Technology transfer component the project facilitate the transfer and adoption of suitable technologies developed regionally and/or internationally. The approach of the project is based on participative research between farmers and researchers and between the national systems of research (NARS) and the exchange and cooperation between the all GCC countries. The major achievements of the project are in Field operations are: Applying liquid pollination to facilitate the operation and maintain good level of fruit set ; Selecting bio-pesticides for controlling infestation by borers and mites and identification of some natural enemies for the control of Lesser date Moth ; Ameliorating the quality of dried dates and reducing the loss and the drying time by using Polycarbonate houses) ; Selecting SSR markers to characterize 60 cultivars from GCC countries (10 major cv from each country).