ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates will provide technological support to Pakistan to help increase date palm cultivation in the country as Pakistan’s rich topography possesses immense potential in this sector.

For this purpose, a memorandum of understanding was signed in Dubai on Monday.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to UAE, Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, and General-Secretary of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, Dr Abdelouahab Zaid, signed the MoU.

The ceremony was witnessed by UAE Minister for Tolerance and Co-existence, Shaikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan.

The Arab region contains the majority of the global area under date palm production — some 1.35 million hectares and contributes over 75 per cent of the world’s production of dates. In recent years, production has increased at an average annual rate of four per cent, primarily due to growth in area planted.

Memorandum of understanding signed in Dubai

The UAE is considered as a pioneer in the date palm cultivation, and it has agreed to help in promoting joint cooperation and sharing expertise between the two countries.

It will also provide an opportunity to Pakistani farmers to increase cultivation of date palm including through innovative ideas.

As part of the agreement, Pakistan will host the first International Date Palm Festival this year.

The memorandum is aimed at boosting up agricultural innovation and research related to development and promotion of various aspects of the date palm cultivation and related industry, Pakistan Embassy in Dubai announced in a press release on Monday.

The UAE is already assisting Pakistan in dates processing, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has provided $6.36 million for setting up a dates processing plant at Panjgur.

The project area is 5,710 square meters and produces over 32,000 tons of dates per day.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2024

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