Technical Report

AARINENA Planning Meeting
Global Post Harvest:
Linking Farmers to Markets

Antalya, Turkey / 24 - 25 March 2005.

Prof. A. Zaid
General Coordinator – DPGN
UAE University
April, 2005.


Back-To-Office Report

I. Submitted by: A. Zaid.

II. Project and Programme Code: Date Palm Global Network.

III. Visit to: Turkey.

IV. Tasks undertaken for UN units: -

V. Inclusive travel dates: 24 – 25 May, 2005.

VI. Co-travellers: Dr. Samir Al-Shakir

Group Coordinator / Post Harvest.

VII. Reason for travel: To participate in the AARINENA Planning Meeting.

VIII. Distribution:

- Dr. Hadef Al Dhahiri,
Vice Chancellor,
UAE University. - Dr. Nadir Hadj Hammou,
UNDP Res. Representative,
UN. Res. Coordinator. - Technical Secretariat
of the DPGN.


IX. Introduction

In an International Workshop on Post Harvest Systems held in FAO Headquarters in Rome in 2003, jointly organized by FAO/AGST, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Post-harvest Global Forum (PhAction), more than 100 participants representing different stakeholder groups contributed to the development of an innovative initiative designed to address the complexity of the post-harvest sector and meet the trade and market access challenges that face farmers and other rural actors in a rapidly changing world. The International Workshop was preceded by Regional Consultations in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, West Asia and North Africa, and Central Asia and the Caucasus that assessed regional needs of the post harvest sector. In the West Africa and North Africa region AARINENA played the major convening role for the Consultation that was held in Cairo in February 2002.

The implementation of the “Strategic Framework for a Global Post-harvest Initiative-Linking Farmers to Markets” will build on strong regional and sub-regional axes. Networks of institutions, programmes and projects, both new and existing, will be essential in creating synergies during the implementation process for this initiative. It is intended to strengthen existing and develop new partnerships across disciplinary and organizational divides at all levels which will contribute to improve communication and the exchange of ideas and information within and across regions.

X. Objectives of the Planning Meeting

AARINENA has confirmed the importance of post-harvest, marketing and enterprise related activities for the region and has expressed a desire to use the Initiative to strengthen and build on the commodity networks that have been established for cotton, date palm, olive and medicinal plants. The objectives of this planning meeting are therefore to:

a) To inform and sensitize participants to the scope and desired outputs of the Global Post-harvest Initiative, with particular emphasis on the principles on which its strategic framework are based;
b) To share information on the objectives, strategies and activities of each of AARINENA’s commodity networks, highlighting a) the functional linkages between the post-harvest working groups and other network members and b) the perceived gaps and bottlenecks that prevent the post-harvest groups effectively contributing to their network’s objectives;
c) To examine the usefulness of progressive incorporation of sub-sector/market chain analysis tools into the priority setting, planning and implementation of research that seeks to improve the competitiveness of the commodities in question.
d) To select a focused set of identified needs and develop a realistic plan of action to meet those needs within the context of the GPhI.

XI. Participants

• Commodity network coordinators and post-harvest working group leaders - 8
• GFAR regional focal point persons from civil society organizations (NGO and farmer) or their designated representatives - 2
• Selected private sector participants collaborating with the networks, who it is felt could enrich the discussion and would be willing to engage further in a focused R&D agenda – 2
• 3 selected trainers and 3 selected participants from the training course
• FAO RNE - 1
• Executive Secretary of AARINENA – 1
• GFAR Secretariat – 2

A detailed list of participants is presented in Annex 1.

XII. Meeting Program

Thursday, 24 March

08.00 Introductions and expectations of participants

09.00 The Global Post-harvest Initiative: background, goal and purpose, principles and strategies
10.00 Coffee Break

10.30 Network presentations (20 minutes, with 10 minutes of clarification questions)

a) Date palm
b) Cotton
c) Medicinal plants
d) Olive

12.30 Discussion: identification of common needs across networks

13.00 Lunch break
14.00 An introduction to sub-sector and market chain analysis approaches for identifying actors and R&D service providers, prioritising value chains and the constraints that they face in improving competitiveness.

15.00 Work in groups to define specific intra- and cross-commodity opportunities and needs that could be the focus of a regional project within the framework of the
GPhI and that builds on and improves the performance of the commodity networks.

17.00 Close of day
Friday, 25 March

08.00 Presentation in plenary of working group findings.

09.00 Development of goal, purpose, outputs and outcomes for a regional programme of action

12.00 Lunch break

14.00 Review of the morning’s work and definition of roles and responsibilities associated with immediate next steps.

17.00 Closure of meeting

XIII. Outline of the DPGN presentation

Part A
1. Background: a brief explanation of the evolution of the network
a) Major socio-economic trends associated with the commodity (markets, producers, value adding opportunities, technology, service providers to the sector etc.)
b) Members of the network and relations with other stakeholders
c) Network priorities and how they were established
d) Perceived strengths and weaknesses of the members and the network itself
2. Present goal, purpose and expected outputs, and the strategies that the network pursues to achieve its outputs. Who are the intended beneficiaries of the network’s activities?
3. Major achievements to date
Part B
1. Purpose and expected outputs of the post-harvest group
2. Present priorities and major activities, and interaction/relation with other network activities. How were the priorities identified?
3. Perceived strengths and weaknesses of the post-harvest group

The General Coordinator of the Date Palm Global Network did actively participate in the different sessions of the AARINENA planning meeting and presented an article entitled “Date Palm Global Network”. Cf. Annex 2.

It is worth mentioning that Dr. Samir Al-Shakir, Network Group Coordinator for Post Harvest and Processing, did also present an article entitled “Introduction & activities of Post Harvest Technology & Marketing working group coordinator (PHTM-WGC) of DPGN during 2003-2004”.

XIV. Outcomes of the Meeting

From the first day participants did make 3 groups to propose and study the potential projects ideas for each sub sector (Date Palm, Olives, Cotton and Medicinal Plants). A common outline was adopted (Cf. Annex 3).

At the end of the second day (25 March 2005), the following three projects ideas were agreed upon:
- Market orientation for the four Networks;
- Organic Farming Initiative; and
- Innovative Extension and Technology Transfer Systems.

A project convener was assigned for each project proposal with a deadline for the implementation of a concept note. Dr. A. Zaid, the DPGN General Coordinator will prepare the concept note for the Market Orientation project and will ensure its follow-up.

The three project ideas are presented in Annex 4.

XV. Meeting Evaluation

The participants were requested to provide feedback to the facilitators on the outcome of the meeting. The results are tabulated in Annex 5. In summary:

1. The participants scored the meeting at 8.5/10 for the extent to which the meeting had met its objectives.
2. The parts of the meeting that was of most value were: a) brainstorming ideas, outline of ideas, priority setting – 7 participants; b) working group discussions – 6 participants; c) interaction and exchange of information – 3 participants; d) 3 participants mentioned other individual aspects of value (see Annex 5).
3. The parts of the meeting were of least value were: a) none, not applicable, no response – 8 participants; market chain analysis – 2 participants; 6 other aspects of least value were mentioned by individual participants (see Annex 5).
4. The participants scored the meeting 8.5/10 with respect to having met their individual expectations.
5. 9 participants felt that the meeting had met or exceeded their expectations; 2 participants referred to the role and participation of CSOs in the meeting and the networks; and 5 participants had individual expectations that they would like to see addressed in the future (see Annex 5).
6. The overall evaluation of meeting was 8.6/10.
7. The major suggestions for improving similar meetings in the future included: a) More time – 6 participants; b) focus on less and go into more detail - 3 participants; c) other aspects mentioned individually by 5 participants (see Annex 5).

XVI. Acknowledgement

The author of this report would like to thank the Hon. UAE University Vice Chancellor, Dr. Hadef Bin Jouan Al Dhahiri and Hon. U.N. Res. Representative and U.N. Res. Coordinator, Dr. Nadir Hadj Hammou, for authorizing the participation of the Network General Coordinator to this important activity.

The effort made by the Akdeniz University Turkey, represented by Dr. Mustapha Erkan and his staff for making the meeting a success, were appreciated.

The co-sponsors (FAO, GFAR and AARINENA), were thanked for their participation and support.

A special thank you is to both Dr. El Tamzini (FAO/RNE) and to Dr. I. Hamdan (AARINENA), for their continuous encouragement to the DPGN.



AARINENA Global Post-harvest Initiatiative Meeting
24-25 MARCH, 2005

Dr. Mohamed El Tamzini



Dr. Ali El Saied

Egypt Nasr City-Cairo 8th blok, Project of 41 Buld. 5, Apr. 3
Mobile 0101847205

Dr. Salah Hegazy Mohamed
3 El-Shiekh Mohamed El-Gazaly St.
Tel: 002027601028
Mobile: 0020102406700

Mr. Mohamed El-Kholy

Egypt Egyptian Association for supporting Olive Growers (EASOG)
10 Moh. Tawfik Diab st. 6th District Nasr City, Cairo/EGYPT

Dr. Abdelfattah Elzahwey

Egypt Medicinal&Aromatic Department
Dokki, Giza-Cairo/EGYPT

Mrs. Aisel Gharedaghli

Iran Agricultural Research and Education Organization (AREO) Chamran highway, Yemen Ave. P.O. Box 19835-111, Tehran/IRAN

Dr. Rupert Best
Italy Global Forum on Agricultural Research
Tel: + 39 06 5705 4475

Dr. Salam Ayoub

Jordan National Center for Agricultural Research&Technology Transfer (NCARTT)
P.O. Box 639 Baqa 19381 JORDAN
Tel: +96264725071, Ext. 330
Mobile:+ 962777492541

Dr. Feras Alali

Jordan Faculty of Pharmacy
Jordan University of Science&Technology
P.O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110 JORDAN

Dr. İbrahim Hamdan

Jordan AARINENA Executive Secretary
P.O. Box 851758
Suueifeya 11185 Amman/JORDAN
Tel:+962 6 5813806 (H)
+962 6 4726015 (W)

Mr. Nabeel Abu-Shriha

Jordan Head, Agricultural and Enviromenmtal Projects Unit
P.O. Box 926043
Amman, Jordan
Tel (office): +962 6 5606992/3
Tel. (residence): +962 6 46101140

Mr. Salaheddin Elyateem

Libya Al-Fateh Univ. Dept. Horticulture Faculty of Agriculture Tripoli/LIBYA
P.O. Box 84033
Dr. Elhadi Yahia Mexico Facultad de Quimica
Universidad Aut. Queretaro
76010, MEXICO

Dr. Nasir Sobhy Abou Foul

Palestine Faculty of Agriculture, Al-Azhar Univ. Gaza, PNA
Tel: 0097282823630
Jaural: 0097259602202
Fax: 00972823441

Dr. Boubaker Karray

Tunisia Olive Tree Institute BI,
1087 sfax 3000 TUNISIA

Dr. Samir Al-Shakir

United Arab Emirates Emirates Dates Factory Alsaed
Tech. Mgr.
P.O. Box. 18454

Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid

United Arab Emirates General Coordinator, Date Palm Global Network
UAE University
P.O. Box 81908
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Tel.: 9713 7832334
Mobile: 97150 6633598
Fax: 9713 7832472

Mr. Tawfiq Sallam Mohamed

SANA’A P.O. Box 920
Tel: 264309

Global Planning Meeting on Global Post Harvest Initiative: Linking Farmers to Markets
Antalya, Turkey; 24 – 25 March 2005.

Date Palm Global Network

A. Zaid (1), E.J. Arias (2) and T. Fawzi (3)

(1) General Coordinator, Date Palm Global Network, United Arab Emirates University.
P.O.Box: 81908, Al Ain, UAE, Email:

(2) FAO – AGPC, Room C – 785, Via delle, Termi di Caracalla 00100, Rome, Italy.

(3) T. Fawzi, FAO - RNE, Regional Office for the Near East, 11 El Eslah El Zerai Street,
Dokki, Cairo, P.O.Box. 2223, Egypt. Email:


Several efforts are continuously made to group the date palm research and development activities either within a geographical region or between several regions. The past half century has seen the implementation of a few date palm projects such as the Regional Project for Palm & Date Research Centre in the Near East & North Africa, the Date Palm Research & Development Network, the Bayoud Disease Regional Project, the Date Palm Subregional TCP Project, the Bio-control project of Red Palm Weevil in the Arabian Gulf region, and the recently launched - Maghreb Date Palm Regional Project.

FAO, as well as other international institutions such as CARDA, IPGRI, IFAD, IDB, IAEA, and AFESD are always technically assisting the date growing countries in their development efforts. The recently established Date Palm Global Network (DPGN) is under the aegis of FAO with a head office in the United Arab Emirates.

Since its establishment, the DPGN did structure its Technical Secretariat as well as the technical coordinating board. Several regional workshops were already organized.


The date palm culture in the world is continuously characterized by its social and economical roles. Due to the growing need of increasing communication and exchange of experiences among date producing countries, the creation of a functional mechanism for technical co-operation was always a matter of urgency. The creation of a date palm global network is justified by the following:

- There is an economic and social importance of date growing in many countries in North Africa, the Middle East and even Southern Africa, Australia and the USA;
- There is insufficient research and information exchange within and between the date producing countries in both the old and new date worlds; and
- There is a need of date exporting countries to follow a co-ordinated policy in relation to international date markets and to exchange statistics on the world date production and trade.

Several efforts are continuously made to group the Date Palm Research and Development activities, either within a geographical region or between several regions. The following are a few date palm projects / networks that were implemented during the last 20 years.

- The Regional Project for Palm and Dates Research Centre in the Near East and North Africa (NECP/REM/521/MUL);
- The Date Palm Research and Development Network (ACSAD);
- The Maghreb Date Palm Regional Project (GEF, UNDP, IPGRI);
- The North African Regional Date Palm Network (IAEA / FAO);
- The Bio-control project of Red Palm Weevil in the Arabian Gulf Region (AOAD);
- The Sahel Regional Project; and
- The Date Palm Subregional TCP project.

Technical cooperation networks have become an increasingly important means of action and are initiated and supported through the Headquarters and Regional Office Regular and Field Programs. These networks have become a generic model for the establishment of functional mechanisms for collaboration and enhancement of communication and exchange of experiences among different countries in one region and/or different regions of the world.

Networks are found to reduce duplicative efforts among national institutions in several countries and may provide a cost-effective instrument for information exchange and institution building (including training). When the resources are limited, networks become a more effective means for the optimal utilization of indigenous expertise and available resources among the countries themselves.

Given the current status of the date agro-industry in the different date growing countries, and in the absence of a coordinating body for the promotion of cooperation among these countries for the optimal utilization of the limited resources available for the development of the date agro-industry, the establishment of a Technical Cooperation Network on Date Palm is a matter of urgency.

FAO and since the 60’s is always technically assisting the date growing countries in their development efforts. The present Date Palm Global Network will be under the aegis of FAO in collaboration with the UAE University, the UNDP and UNOPS and the above mentioned organizations as well as the other national and international institutions.

1. The Regional Project for Palm and Dates Research Centre in the Near East and North Africa (NECP/REM/521/MUL) called NENADATES.

The Regional Project for Palm & Dates Research Centre in the Near East & North Africa was a Trust Fund Project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations composed of the following seventeen member countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Yemen (at the time People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and the Yemen Arab Republic), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Sultanate of Oman, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. The Project was governed in technical matters by a Technical Coordinating Board composed of one representative of each member country.

The NENADATES Date Palm Network was successful in providing information and development initiatives that strengthened the date industry in these countries.

The NENADATES regional project, lasted about 10 years (1978 – till December 1987), then it was followed by two Technical Cooperation Projects (FAO – TCPs); their respective references were TCP/RAB/84/018 implemented by FAO and TCP/RAB/88/024 implemented by FAO and UNDP.

2. Date Palm Research & Development Network (ACSAD).

The establishment of this network was in 1990 after the technical consultancy supervised by IFAD and UNDP which assessed the date palm situation in various selected date countries. An agreement document was then approved and financed by three donors: IFAD, AFESD and IDB. The implementation of the Network activities was given to ACSAD.

There are 12 Arab member countries, with four of the hosting the regional network offices. The network did go so far through two phases of five years each and it seems that 2002 is its last year of the extended period.

3. Participatory Management of Date Palm Genetic Resources in Oasis of the

The project RAB/98/G31 (GEF-UNDP-IPGRI) is designed to remove barriers to genetic erosion of date palm in the Maghreb region (Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco), namely:

- The replacement threat from national programmes varieties that are multiplying and distributing only a few varieties of trees,
- Market forces that are encouraging a farmer’s preference to grow only a few high value varieties of date palm to the exclusion of a wide range of other varieties. Together with the number of baseline programmes described, the project will form an integrated ecosystem approach to the management of the oasis sites.
- The project will focuse on activities that will serve to broaden the number of date palm varieties that will be grown in-situ by comparison to baseline projections, rather than promote higher yields or an expansion of market demand, which are not incremental activities.

4. North Africa Regional Date Palm Network.

Another regional network on Bayoud Disease of Date Palm was established by the Joint FAO/IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in 1995 and was implemented by the Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture (Vienna). Three countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) were the network members.

5. Bio-control Project of Red Palm Weevil in the Arabian Gulf Region.

A specialized regional project on the control of the Date Palm Red Palm Weevil was launched in July 1997 between 6 Gulf countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Kingdom of Bahrain, Qatar and Sultanate of Oman. The project’s first phase will end in June 2002 but preparations for its second phase are underway.

The project’s objectives were to strengthen national programmes through training, provision of laboratory equipments and developing applicable bio-control technology as important component of IPM for the management of Red Palm Weevil.

The project is having two office locations; one in UAE and the other in KSA; while its budget was provided by IDB (US$ 1.73 million) and the IFAD (US$ 1.00 million).

6. The Sahel Date Palm Regional Project.

The Sahel Date Palm Regional Project is an initiative of FAO, International Programme for Arid Agriculture (IPALAC) and the Desert Margins Programme (DMP). The targeted countries are Burkina Faso, Cameron, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad. The project is still as a document but already different FAO Technical Cooperation Projects (TCPs) were already born from it (example: Burkina Faso and Niger TCPs).

7. Date Palm Subregional TCP Project: Date Production Support Programme in Southern and Eastern Africa.

The regional TCP was in favor of Botswana, Namibia, Republic of South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

During the regional workshop which was held in Keetmanshoop (05 – 08 October 1999), countries delegates from the Southern and Eastern Africa sub-region (Botswana, Namibia, RSA, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe) did insist on the well prioritisation of date palm research and development efforts and on the elaboration of a sub-regional project. Indeed, the advantages in favour of this sub-regional project were summarized as follows:

- The sub-regional project will benefit from reduced costs by sharing technical inputs (CTA, consultants, training, research, etc.) and facilities (tissue culture laboratory, regional offices, etc.) among countries.
- Sharing information and expertise will also be an outcome of this sub-regional project.
- Safe exchange of selected date palm plant material between member countries. The establishment of control measures at the sub-regional level will protect and strengthen the positive phytosanitary status.
- The sub-regional project will implement a participating and multi dimensional approach taking into account the socio-economic characteristics of each member country.
- The export marketing potential of the sub-region is very promising as it is situated in the Southern Hemisphere as opposed to that of all the other major date producing countries that are located in the Northern Hemisphere. The sub-region will thus will be able to produce and supply dates to all the major markets during the traditional off-season.

8. The Date Palm Global Network (DPGN).

The idea of the establishment of the Date Palm Global Network was born within the framework of the Date Production Support Programme (UTF/NAM/004/NAM) with the Coordination and assistance from the FAO – AGPC / Division (Mr. E.J. Arias).

An experts consultation, to study the feasibility of establishing a DPGN for technical cooperation on date palm and to draft the objectives and guidelines of the network, was first held in Tehran, Iran, during the period 13 – 14 October 1999, with the participation of scientists from the following countries: Egypt, Iran, Libya, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia, U.A.E., Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Pakistan. The consultation was hosted by the Iranian Government and supported technically and financially by FAO (AGP, RNE) and AARINENA.

In the meeting, common problems and interests were defined and a document was prepared summarizing the outcome of the consultation and was presented in the Date Palm International Symposium that was held in Namibia, February 22 – 25, 2000. the program included a special session to discuss the Network under the auspices of the FAO.

It was an important component of the Date Palm International Symposium, which was held in Namibia, 22 to 25 February 2000, and was organized by the Date Production Support Programme in Namibia with the technical and financial support of AGPC/FAO.

The meeting was attended by 130 participants from Algeria, Australia, Egypt, England, Eritrea, France, India, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Peru, Republic of South Africa, Senegal, Swaziland, Tunisia, U.A.E., U.S.A. and Zambia, and representatives from the following international organizations: AOAD, DMP, FAO, ICRISAT and Proclima International.

The Network’s establishment meeting, held during 07 – 09 April 2002 in Al Ain / UAE, did finalize the terms of reference of each of the Co-ordinating Board, the General Co-ordinator, the working groups and regional co-ordinators (Annex I). During the same meeting the structure of the Network was also adopted (Annex II).

The constitution document as well as the project document of the DPGN were discussed and adopted during the first technical meeting of the Coordinating Board, which was held in Cairo, Egypt during 10 – 11 June 2003.

9. Objectives of the DPGN

9.1. Collection and dissemination of information on production and planting, marketing, research, post-harvest and processing technologies of dates and date palm by-products and residues.
9.2. Collection, conservation, evaluation and utilisation of date palm germplasm.
9.3. Promotion of the ecological and social benefits of Date Palm.
9.4. Exchange of experiences, expertise, and information as well as organise training courses, workshops and meetings of experts.

9.5. Contribute to the formation of national networks in each country to increase collaboration among national institutions and particularly propitiating increased communication between scientific institutions and growers.
9.6. Promote the analysis of common problems, their study and search of solutions, particularly through the elaboration of joint research/development projects.

10. Technical Working Groups

Specific tasks were identified to be addressed by the DPGN, forming the basis for technical working groups. For each working group, specialized institutions in different countries were identified to participate. Participation in the working groups is open to any interested scientists, organisations and associations, as well as to researchers from the private sector.

The profile and arrangements for the 4 working groups were established as follows:

10.1. Germplasm/propagation

 Promotion of collection, characterisation, conservation (in situ and ex situ), exchange and utilisation of the genetical variability in different geographical regions, and preparing germplasm catalogues.
 Elaboration of a list of potential varieties as source of primary germplasm and conservation of varieties in the centres of origin and diversification, and identification of sources of safe material.
 Define sites and institutions for the establishment of regional and international germplasm collections.
 Study the possibility to establish a system for genetic material exchange among participating countries to the DPGN and report on the adaptability and results of germplasm exchange.
 Harmonisation procedures for certification for production of standard planting materials.
 To prepare a manual on propagation of date palm, which describe the classical propagation methods and modern techniques.
 Address legal aspects for the testing and propagation of materials.
 Biosystematic research on date palm for establishing a more coherent identification and classification of most varieties.

10.2. Postharvest physiology and processing

 Study postharvest quality of fruit in relation to varieties, stages of maturity at harvest and storage conditions
 Study postharvest variations due to different production conditions.
 Develop useful techniques to control postharvest decay on fruits.
 Study harvest and handling techniques that could reduce mechanical injuries; look for packaging options for national and export markets.
 Study the postharvest behaviour of lightly processed fruits (chopped and
 Periodical compilation and dissemination of information regarding progress and problems of postharvest handling of dates in various countries.
 Definition of research priorities, that will contribute to solve common problems on date palm processing especially to the production of juices as well as the development of appropriate rural technologies.
 Review cultural practices that are commonly used to increase productivity that may be related with the quality of the products and processing technologies.
 Promotion of research in technology oriented to fruit processing.
 Documentation and circulation of success stories on processing of dates.
 Promotion of production of date byproducts.

10.3. Productivity and Economics and Production and Commercialization

 Promotion of research concerning the promotion of flowering/fruit set and studies connected to fruit quality.
 Definition of water and nutrients requirements.
 To optimise planting systems and the technical itinerary.
 Definitions of breeding strategies for date palm using both classical methods and biotechnology tools, oriented to overcome limitations for adaptation (e.g. drought, salinity), productivity (e.g. insect pests and diseases) and fruit quality.
 The advanced genetic materials will be examined in different agroclimatic conditions.
 Development of appropriate cultural techniques that will result in both yield increase and environmental protection according to specific problems in a given area.
 To facilitate basic research into the responses of date palms to the environment as well as to provide physiological support for applied aspects of their uses.
 Future research emphasis will be on interactions of stresses, predicting the influences of thermoperiod and photoperiod on organ development, predicting environmental responses of fruiting, and other aspects that are physiologically important.
 The reinforcement of basic physiological studies in order to support the work of agronomists and horticulturists, in aspects related to orchard management, fruit quality and postharvest.
 To improve the collection and dissemination of economic information regarding future development, current plantings, expected supply, internal demand and world demand.
 Study marketing problems and explore potential for future demand expansion.
 International marketing studies may involve research on particular aspects related to quality requirements of food and non-food products and pesticides regulations, among others.

10.4. Pests and diseases

 Collection and exchange of information of current pests and diseases which limit yields and quality of fruit. The relevant aspects include biology, incidence, and severity of damage and current methods of control.
 Promotion of research on integrated control of pests, weeds and diseases
 Publication of a poster or manual for the practical identification in the field of the major pests and diseases.
 Formulate a project with an integrated pest management focus for the most important diseases of date palm.
 Participate in the newsletter of the network with short articles on phytosanitary problems of importance in different areas and control methods (e.g. Bayoud disease, red palm weevil, etc.).
 Extending information on phytosanitary standards applicable to the fruit for export markets.

11. Network achievements

- Establishment Meeting (June 2003, Cairo);
- The Network Project Document;
- The Network Constitution Document;
- A web-site for the Network;
- Organization Chart of the Network;
- Nominations / elections of the General Coordinator, Technical Secretariat, Four Technical Group Coordinators, Network Regional Representatives and Focal persons per member countries.
- An office with a secretary and tel., fax, e-mail,…
- International Date Palm Forum: Abu Dhabi, UAE; (15 – 17 September, 2002).
- First Regional Workshop on Tissue Culture: (14 – 16 January, 2003).
- Regional Workshop on Red Palm Weevil: (28 – 30 March, 2004).
- First International Date Palm Exhibition: Al Ain, UAE; (14 – 16 December 2004).
- Second Regional Workshop on Tissue Culture and Investment Opportunities: (01 – 03 May, 2005)
- International Workshop on True-To-Typeness of Date Palm Tissue Culture-Derived Plants: (23 – 25 May, 2005).
- Third International Date Palm Conference: Abu Dhabi, UAE; (13 – 15 November 2005).

12. Participation in the following events / meetings

- 9th General Conference of AARINENA Muscat, Oman: 11 - 13 April 2004.
- Conference on Dates Processing and Marketing with beneficial by-products in Arab countries: Medina, KSA / 08 – 10 June 2004.
- AARINENA Global Planning Meeting: Global Post Harvest Initiative: Linking Farmers to Markets; Antalya / Turkey, 24 – 25 March 2005.

13. Countries that applied for the Network Membership (Till 01 March 2005).

Country Date of Letter Remarks
Yemen 06/03/2004 -
UAE 23/03/2004 -
Palestine Authority 13/06/2004 Free membership
Lebanon 17/06/2004 Paid
Bahrain 15/06/2004 -
Somalia 07/07/2004 Free membership
KSA 24/08/2004 Paid
Syria 30/11/2004 -
Oman - Waiting for official letter
Qatar 19/09/2004 Apologized

I.B.D & UNEP: Expect request of assistance.



A. Co-ordinating Board

- Facilitate communication among the different working groups and regional Date Palm networks.
- Help the General Co-ordinator in promoting technical activities both at the regional and global level.
- Facilitate adaptation of the working arrangements of the Network to meet member requirements and to ensure efficiency of operations.
- Cooperate to identify and obtain funding assistance from donors and financing agencies for strengthening network activities.

B. General Co-ordinator

 Guarantee communication and feedback between the working groups.
 Guarantee divulgation of information among members.
 Elaboration of regional project proposal to address questions of global concern for submission through FAO to potential funding agencies or donors.
 Arrange meetings every 2 years of network focal points, to review progress and priorities.
 Arrange regular (2 yearly) meetings of working group co-ordinators to review activities, progress and priorities for ongoing and future work (combined with international workshops, congresses, etc., in order to minimise costs).
 Assist in planning and organising training activities in relation to needs of subgroups and working groups.
 Prepare publications every 2 years integrating the information coming from the subgroups.
 Guarantee regular publication of a newsletter and other instruments (e.g. website/web pages) for enhancing information dissemination and exchange.
 Promote co-ordinating board meetings, as well as specific meetings on technical subjects in collaboration with working group co-ordinators.
 Guarantee that the information system will be accessible for world benefit.
 Promote efforts to obtain funding assistance from donors and financing agencies for strengthening network activities.
 Stimulate collaboration among members, in close co-ordination with FAO, to elaborate strategies for Date Palm expansion, rehabilitation or reconversion, or to assist in defining diversification strategies.

C. Working Group Co-ordinators

 Develop programmes and guide activities for the working group in accordance with national strategies and priorities.
 Ensure communication between group members.
 Elaborate technical bulletins for dissemination of information.
 Assist in establishing agreements and procedures for exchanging information/material.
 Provide the General Co-ordinator with regular information on progress, results and needs of working groups.
 Prepare and disseminate annual progress reports on working group activities and promote appropriate scientific contributions to be included in the Network newsletter.
 Assist in preparation of regional or subregional technical programmes of assistance for submission to funding agencies/donors.
 Promote specific meetings on technical subjects within their groups’ area of activity.
 Develop communications, through electronic and other media, to facilitate sharing of information and intra-group contacts.

D. Focal Points

 To guarantee feedback to countries of information generated by the different components of the network.
 To ensure communications within each country on matters related to the GDPN.
 To guide overall co-ordination of network through regular meetings of focal points (Governing body).

E. Regional Co-ordinators

 Promote and encourage the establishment of joint projects on Date Palm research/development among countries that share common geographical and ecological situations in regard to arid lands.
 Ensure communication between group members, the focal points and the General Co-ordinator.
 Arrange regular meetings of their members to review activity progress, problems and formulate regional work plans.
 Assist the overall co-ordination in the elaboration of project proposals to be addressed to FAO for submission to donors.
 Assist the overall co-ordination in planning and organising regional training activities, workshops and meetings of experts.


Outline of Project Ideas


• Situation now
• Desired situation at end of project
• What will have changed because of the project’s interventions?

Project description

• Development goal
• Purpose of the project
• Outputs
• Principal activities to achieve each output.

Innovative nature of the project

• On what experiences, from the region and beyond, will the project build?
• What new or innovative approaches will the project use?

Target beneficiaries

• Who will benefit from the project and why?

Institutions that might participate and their roles

• Name the institutions and persons that should participate in the project, and the roles that they should play. What expertise do they bring?
• Are they an y institutions from outside the region that should participate?

Project champion

• Who will take responsibility for completing a draft concept note, contacting appropriate partners, and support resource mobilisation?

Immediate next steps

• What are immediate next steps?
• Which donors might be interested in funding this project?

Outline of Project Idea

Market Orientation for Networks

• Situation now
o Lack of information, misunderstanding of supply and market chains, mis-targeting products and markets, non efficient production and marketing systems due to lack of information, low-scales of response to market needs, presence of too many intermediaries between the farmers and the consumer, lack of early warning systems against market failures, several missed opportunities
• Desired situation at end of project
o Informed decisions, enhancing scales of marketing and supply chains management, better marketing and export opportunities, exact know-how of the market needs, transparency in the supply and market chains, fair prices for the farmers

• What will have changed because of the project’s interventions?
o Farmers, growers associations and communities approach to make decisions on products and markets, policy makers to take appropriate actions for the development of the sub-sector, traders, brokers, agents and distributors will have a clear knowledge about the sub-sector, strengthening the sub-sector competitiveness and the role within the respective national economies

Project description
• Development goal
• Establish a comprehensive data collection, analysis, and reporting system for all stakeholders of the targeted commodities
• Building national capacity in the field of market orientation
• Better preparation and action mode for all stakeholders in the market and supply chains of the sub-sector

• Purpose of the project
Assist the sub-sector to correctly respond to market needs, and enhance its competitiveness

• Expected output
o Real and exact data and knowledge about market and supply chains and other aspects of the sub-sector
o Major constraints and opportunities for the sub-sector
o Series of recommendations and programme proposals for the decision-making
o Improvement in the profitability and competitiveness of selected market chains for each commodity

• Principal activities to achieve each output

Innovative nature of the project
• On what experiences, from the region and beyond, will the project build?
o Effort and results of the four networks.
o Examples: FAO Trade division work on date palm, proposed study for olive sector.
o On-going national and regional projects
o Information from diverse agencies
o Israeli experience of with avocado
• What new or innovative approaches will the project use?
o Combine horizontal and vertical (within and across commodities) approach for each commodity, with the possibility of having a model per network that after its successful trial can be generalised.
o Making sure that growers and processors are aware of demand and requirements of the market

Target beneficiaries
• Who will benefit from the project and why?
o Farmers: higher incomes, farmers cheated of their effort/real value of their products
o Traders: too many traders at present, those that remain will be better off
o Packers and manufacturers: more constant and sustainable supply of merchandise, improved quality
o Consumers: affordable price, greater availability of products

Institutions that might participate and their roles
• Name the institutions and persons that could participate in the project, and the roles that they should play. What expertise do they bring?
o Each commodity network will need to supply the specific names of potential institutions and participants: minimum three countries
o International Olive Oil Council
o Date Palm Global Network
o Ministry of Agriculture Research Institutions
o Selected and interested NGO and growers associations, and private sectors in the respective commodities
• Are there any institutions from outside the region that could participate?
o FAO Technical Divisions
o Agricultural Department EU

Project convener
• Who will take responsibility for completing a draft concept note, contacting appropriate partners, and support resource mobilisation?
o Dr. A. Zaid
o Supported by Drs Abu Bakr, Ali El-Saied, Samir H. Shakir, El Yatim
o Possible lead institutions: UAE University, College of Food Systems, Olive Tree Institute, Tunisia

Immediate next steps
• What are the immediate next steps?
o Finalise the first draft concept note and circulate to network coordinators: 15 April 2005
o Each commodity coordinator initiates the contacts with countries to ascertain their interest, identification of focal points, etc. 15 May focal points return information to network coordinators.
o Convener incorporates the information provided by the four network coordinators into second draft and forwards to AARINENA, cc GFAR. 15 June.
o Request advice from resource persons specialised in the field of market orientation/sub-sector and market chain analysis.

• Which donors might be interested in funding this project?
IFAD, IDB, AAAID, AFSED, WTO, a resource person in fund raising.

Organıc Farmıng
- Lack of knowledge
- Hıgher demand and low supply for organıc farmıng
- The area for organıc farmıng ıs less than 0.05
- Conventıonal agrıculture ıs not envıronmental freındly
- Lack of traınıng of organısatıons for organıc farmıng
- Lack of certıfıed bodıes .
Desıred sıtuatıon:
- More awareness about food safety and envıronment aspects.
- Increase the ıncome of the benefıcıarıes.
- Enhance marketıng of the selected commodıtıes.
- Added value and qualıty ımprovement.
Project Descrıptıon:
Productıon of safe and good qualıty food
- Introductıon of organıc farmıng systems and concept.
- Increase the productıon of healthy and safety food.
- Increase exportatıon.
- Raısıng awareness .
- Introducıng new technıques and best practıces
- Protectıon of envıronment
1- Wel-establıshed organıc farmıng practıces.
2- Productıon of healty and safety products and ımprovıng
the productıon technıques and practıces.
3- More exported commodıtıes and margınal profıt.
4- Awared producers of organıc products.
5- Healthy envıronment.
Prıncıple actıvıtıes to achıeve outputs:
Output 1
- Establıshment of NGO
- Traınıng and contract acredıt body to ınspect and
certıfy the all stakeholders.
- Establıshment of natıonal certıfıcatıon body.
Output 2
- Capacıty buıldıng and traınıng.
- Exchange of experıences.
- Utılızatıon of exıctıng experıences.
- Enhancement of adoptıng new productıon methods and tehnıques.
Output 3
- Study of market and analysıs of marketıng.
- Openıng market chaıns.
Output 4
- Promotıon campaıns and publıc awareness.
- Utılızatıon of mass medıa .
- Publıcatıons and educatıonal materıals.
- Domenstratıons and exhıbıtıons.
Output 5
- Utılızatıon of avaılable natural resources.
- Elımınatıon of the use of harmful chemıcal .
Innovatıve nature of the project:
- Exıctenance of the other experıences
1- Traınıng , certıfıcatıon body , technology transfer ,
and research (Eygyp) .
2- IPM systems (Jordan).
New ınnovatıve:
The ımportance of usıng the organıc system to produce
healthy and safety food and protect the envıronment and
the ımpact of thıs appraoches on the whole economy of the
partıcıpated countrıes.
Small and medıum sızed scale farmers.
Instıtutıons that mıght partıcıpate:

GO ınstıtutıons
Research centers /NARs
Assocıatıons and rural communıtıes
Outsıde the regıon :
Internatıonal Federatıon of Organıc Farmıng (IFOAM)
Frıendly envıronmentally sponserd organısatıons.
Health Care Organısatıons
Export supportıng organısatıons
Project Coordınator:
Nabeel Abu-Shrıha
Next Steps:

1- Immedıate next steps?
- Establıshıng a technıcal commıttee
- Takıng feed back from concerned stakeholders.
- Makıng contacts wıth the concerned stakeholders
- Wrıtıng the project document
- Dıstrıbutıng the needed ınformatıon to assıst ın formulatıng the last

ALL Internatıonal donor agencıes and bodıes:
UNDP,World bank , USAID, GEF,GTZ,UNEP,....etc.

Outline of Project Ideas: Innovative Extension and Technology Transfer Systems.

• Situation now. Extension systems in the WANA region are ineffective, and therefore there is a gap between knowledge and technologies generated or obtained and applications. Farmers mistrust in the extension systems (persons), inadequacy in the education system, less qualified experts, farmers illiteracy, farm fragmentation, mechanisms of technology transfer

• Desired situation at end of project: effective extension and technology transfer systems and mechanisms,

• What will have changed because of the project’s interventions? Qualified farmers, improved quality, improved productivity, build trustworthy channels,

Project description
• Development goal: effective extension and technology transfer systems in the WANA region

• Purpose of the project: improved livelihood of farmers, alleviate poverty,

• Outputs: better farmers, better production systems, better quality and safe products,

• Principal activities to achieve each output: changing and improving cultural concepts and attitudes toward extension experts, social concepts regarding extension activities and extension specialists, structured continuous education program for extensionists, training courses and field visits to model farms and successful entrepreneur businesses, effective ways for training extension specialists emphasizing problem solving and problem analysis.

Innovative nature of the project
• On what experiences, from the region and beyond, will the project build? Ineffective current extensions systems in the region, extensions systems prevailing in other regions such as the Cooperative system in California to be adapted in the WANA region, incentives for extension and extension specialists.

• What new or innovative approaches will the project use? Changing of social and cultural attitudes toward extension activities and extension specialists, privatise the extension system, specialized agencies and specialists rather than general ones.

Target beneficiaries
• Who will benefit from the project and why? Farmers, extension specialists, food production and handling players including the consumer.

Institutions that might participate and their roles
• Name the institutions and persons that should participate in the project, and the roles that they should play. What expertise do they bring?
o Current extension agencies and specialists: human resources, previous experiences, field contacts,
o Farmers, trade unions, NGO's: needs, model systems,
o Ministries of agriculture (MOAs): resources, experiences, infrastructure,
o Information technology agencies: tools, techniques, mechanisms, programs

• Are there any institutions from outside the region that should participate? Yes: Successful extension agencies such as USDA, California Cooperaive Extensions, NGO's

Project champion
• Who will take responsibility for completing a draft concept note, contacting appropriate partners, and support resource mobilisation? Mr. Mohamed El Kholy,

Immediate next steps
• What are the immediate next steps?
o Prepare and finalize the concept note: 25 April 2005
o Submission of the Concept Note to GFAR and AARANINA: May 15, 2005
o Exploration and presentation to donors
o Following acceptance of Concept Note by donors:
 Formulating the draft project
 Submission of project to donors
 Project implementation

• Which donors might be interested in funding this project?: Islamic Development Bank, European Community, Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development

Annex 5