KUALA LUMPUR: The date palm tree has played a vital role as a key source of food and sustenance throughout the history of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The tree forms an important part of the daily life of Emirati people, as they use its fruit for food, its trunk for building homes, and its fronds and leaves for traditional handicraft.According to a recent article by the Emirates News Agency, the UAE placed great importance on agricultural development, particularly in date palm.
This is evident in the continued expansion of agricultural resources and investments, the growth in the number of palm trees, and the increase and variety of date projects.
The UAE said the special attention given to the date palm was also evident through the establishment of the Date Palm Tissue Culture Laboratory (DPTCL) at the UAE University in 1989.
Founded by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, DPTCL is also internationally recognised as one of the major commercial date palm mass propagation units and uses the application of tissue culture techniques for date palm, also called in vitro propagation.
In 1993, a large state-of-the-art centre and laboratory for tissue culture techniques was set up to propagate selected date palm seedlings and offshoots.
“DPTCL has the capacity to propagate 40,000 to 50,000 seedlings each year, and that is showcased and marketed at local and international exhibitions.
“Major export markets for these UAE high-quality seedlings and varieties include Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia and Oman,” the article said. — Bernama