Abu Dhabi: From 2012 to 2017, more than 5.9 million palm trees across Abu Dhabi infected with the red palm weevil were treated by the Abu Dhabi Farmer’s Services Centre (ADFSC), which has called on date farmers to immediately report signs of infection.
The ADFSC is responsible for the protection of around 24,000 palm tree farms across the emirate.
There are 6.7 million date palm trees across Abu Dhabi, including in Al Ain and Al Gharbia. There are more than 40 million date palm trees across the UAE.
This year, the centre also installed about 14,000 lampposts to light up farms in Abu Dhabi.
Nasser Mohammad Al Junaibi, acting executive director of the centre, said: “We aim to combat date palm trees problems through comprehensive programmes and awareness among farmers. We want to compile details that harm palm trees and protect them. Through these programmes, we aim to increase yields that would benefit farmers financially. We want to encourage farmers to protect their trees, which are our historical and cultural heritage.”
If farmers adopt best practices of protection through natural means, it will enhance their produce, improve irrigation methods and reduce water consumption, he said.
The ADFSC showcased its technical and instructional services at the Liwa Date Festival.
According to the centre, around 3.5 million palm trees are sprayed every year in Abu Dhabi, and around 109,000 palm trees were treated with sulphur fogging this year.
“We also treat tress with sulphur fumigation to eradicate pests suspended at the top of the palm. The ADFSC team also stops the contamination of other palm trees,” Al Junaibi said.
Al Junaibi said: “It is our social and economic responsibility to ensure a sustainable farming culture in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.”