Representatives of Israel, Egypt and Morocco have signed a regional agreement to develop the global date market at a conference on date growing held under the auspices of the Agritech 2006 16th International Agricultural Exhibition in Tel Aviv. The Peres Center for Peace organized the conference.
At the conference, Vice Premier Shimon Peres said three crops were historically associated with the Middle East: the wine grape, which gladdens the human heart; the olive, the symbol for peace; and the date, a symbol of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The basis of the date project will focus on consumer preferences, crop planning, irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides, and post-harvest handling. Farmers also plan to increase production of varieties in demand in export markets and which generate large sales.
Hadeklaim Date Growers Association general manager Davidi Marom said the Mediterranean basin was the world’s largest grower of dates. Israel has ties with neighboring countries, and exchanges research on the prevention of diseases and pests.
Marom said the date growers conference could be a springboard for regional cooperation on this crop by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. “Focusing on consumer taste is the key to success in agriculture,” he said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on May 11, 2006
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