Over the past three months, HSAD has been researching and implementing integrated pest management (IPM) techniques for date palm. IPM is a practical and environmentally-friendly approach which combines an extensive range of techniques to control pest populations, and only advocates the use of chemicals when alternative methods have been exhausted, costs are not excessive, and there is no threat to existing agro-ecosystems.
Crop & Livestock
At a recent three-day workshop, held at the Qushtapa seed cleaning factory in Erbil, Ministry of Agriculture officials learned how to operate mobile seed cleaning machines. The staff who participated in the workshop will now train other trainers. This training-of-trainers (ToT) will speed the spread of small-scale seed cleaning technology to farmers and private sector operators.
Date palm is a key commodity in Iraq and an integral component of irrigated farming systems in central and southern parts of the country. In addition to its nutritional value, date palm is also an important source of feed and fuel, and can be used as a building material in the construction of houses. Despite its economic importance, years of conflict, sanctions and political instability have caused a significant decline in productivity. These problems are compounded by a further constraint – pests such as the Lesser Date Moth, the Dubas Bug, and various species of Stem Borer.