ABU DHABI, 3rd August, 2021 (WAM) — The Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to establish and operate research, technology and innovation platform for an integrated production system for date palm in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to a top official of AARINENA.
The platform will serve as a centre for information and knowledge that effectively connects stakeholders and share research results, technologies and available innovations related to the date palm production value chain, said Dr. Rida A. Shibli, Executive Secretary of AARINENA. It will also play an important role in technology transfer and enhancing various capabilities for people of interest and beneficiaries using ICT solutions, he added while delivering a virtual lecture organised by Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation General Secretariat.
The lecture on the “Efforts and achievements of the AARINENA in the field of date palm cultivation and production at the Arab level” was attended by 57 experts and specialists representing 13 Arab countries.
Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Award’s Secretary-General, noted that this virtual lecture comes under the directives of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Chairman of the Award’s Board of Trustees, to spread the scientific knowledge and awareness in date palm cultivation and agricultural innovation.
Dr. Shibli said AARINENA in partnership with the FAO will facilitate the implementation of the platform’s activities. These activities include identification of research priorities, available technologies, innovations and technical practices related to the date palm value chain.
Accordingly, a regional model of the research, technology and innovation platform will be created and operated, including the monitoring and evaluation system for the integrated date palm production system, and this model will mainly focus on expanding and sharing promising research results, technologies and innovations to small producers and interested stakeholders.
Dr. Shibli highlighted the importance of the platform in coordinating the efforts of member states at the regional and international levels, as it is an interactive hub for multiple stakeholders, including researchers, producers, financiers, farmers associations, private industries, investors and government agencies to enhance the integrated production system of the date palm in the region.
The AARINENA association consists of several networks, including the Date Palm Network, which includes a group of the best date palm experts in the region.