HYDERABAD-The agriculture and horticulture experts have said that dates had been cultivated in Sindh for thousands of years and there was need to promote research for cultivation of different varieties of high-quality dates in the province.
The researchers should ensure research on popular and standard varieties including tissue culture according to the climate of Sindh, they emphasized. They said this at a ceremony held after the plantation of Barhi and Khunezi date palm plants brought from Green Coast Nursery Dubai in Sindh Agricultural University here Thursday.
Addressing the participants, Vice Chancellor Dr. Fateh Marri said that the date palm was a significant fruit in Sindh like mango, guava, banana and jujube but unfortunately research on it was negligible. He said that many countries including Dubai, Iran, Iraq, India, and Saudi Arabia and the global market had large consumption of date palms in novel commodities, by-products and religious needs, while the market is limited due to the quality of our commodities and other diplomatic issues. “With research of new commodities and planting plantations in different areas, we can meet our country’s food needs and earn a lot of foreign exchange from their exports”, he said.
Dr. Inayatullah Rajpar, Dean of the Faculty of Crop Production, said that there was a time when dates were exported from Sindh to neighboring countries which brought prosperity in Khairpur, Sukkur and its suburbs. However at present, due to diplomatic problems and homogenization of varieties, the farmers of Sindh and traders are frustrated and their business is less than half, he said. Muhammad Akram Sheikh, an alumnus of Sindh Agriculture University, who donated tissue culture date plants from Dubai, said in his address that Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan were the five largest countries in the world in terms of date production. Sindh has a long history of dates production, he said and added that dates could be cultivated in other areas around Khairpur, Sukkur and Sanghar in Sindh.