On the sidelines of its participation in the 6th International Date Palm Conference held in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has launched a guide for date palm integrated pest management, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Farmer's Services Center (ADFSC) and the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). This came in the presence of a number of representatives of local and international entities concerned with the agriculture sector. The guide aims to address risks of various pests and diseases that threaten the date palm sector in the UAE.
During the launch party of the guide, ADFCA's Executive Director of the Agricultural Affairs Sector, Mubarak Ali Al Mansouri, said the significant development experienced by the field of planting date palms was accompanied by many challenges, such as the spread of pests and diseases threatening this agriculture.
"It has, therefore, become urgent to develop sustainable management programs to control palm pests and diseases. This prompted ADFCA, in coordination with its partners, to create a guide includes the latest information on the integrated pest management (IPM) of date palms by leading bodies in this area," Al Mansouri stated.
According to Al Mansouri, the guide includes the most important principles and concepts of IPM, pest and disease control guidelines and methodologies, and analysis of common IPM experiments.
The application of geographic information systems in creating pest and diseases monitoring maps, pest management of major pests and diseases, and the importance of agricultural operations in palm trees fields in reducing losses resulting from pests and diseases are some of the guide's contents.
"The guide provides a comprehensive description of causes lead to the spread of diseases and pests, disease symptoms, and the biology of major date palm pests. Moreover, it includes modern and innovative techniques for date palm pest management, such as monitoring pest places, the control of pests by taking agricultural measures, host-plant resistance, and biological and chemical control," Al Mansouri clarified.
He further praised ICARDA's great role in supporting ADFCA's efforts, which resulted in launching the guide.
Launching the guide is part of "Improve efficiency of IPM of date palm, agriculture extension and technology transfer in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi" project, which it is being implemented by ADFCA in cooperation with ADFSC and ICARDA.
The guide is a valuable reference for all workers in date palm sector, including researchers, agricultural extension specialists and farmers, to address risks of various pests and diseases that threaten palm tree sector in the UAE and the rest of the world countries producing dates in general.