The International Dates and Date Palms conference held at the Baghdad-ul-Jadid Campus, Islamia University, Bahawalpur which was presided over by the Vice-Chancellor, IUB/GSCWU, Bahawalpur, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar while King Saud University, Saudi Arabia’s Dr. Abdur-Rehman S.Al-Dawood was the chief guest. The conference is being arranged jointly by the Islamia University, Bahawalpur, HEC, Pakistan and the King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. The Vice-Chancellor, IUB/GSCWU, Bahawalpur, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar in his presidential address said that the basic objective of this conference was to promote the production of this fruit which was religiously highly important for us as it had a complete diet full of energy.
He said that Islamic world was quite rich in the production of dates and the top 10 countries popular for the Dates production were Muslim Countries and Pakistan had also been producing Dates in sufficient quantity while Bahawalpur had too prominent in this regard so we had arranged this conference here to develop awareness among the gardeners to promote it and gain knowledge to preserve it side by side saving it from virus and improve the processing and marketing chances and techniques for better results. He said that this conference would boost the research activities for the researches at international level and students and to know the economic worth of Dates.
He announced to develop a garden of Date Palms at Islamia University, Bahawalpur which would be inaugurated by the Saudi guests besides setting-up a centre of production and processing of the fruits of the Tropical areas for which the brotherly Islamic countries would be consulted for cooperation. He thanked the cooperation of the Agriculture Research Centre, Egypt’s Delegate, Adil Abu-ul-Sawad, Senior Faculty member, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, Khawaja Ghulam Rasool, HEC, Pakistan, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, Agriculture University, Faisalabad, Pir Mehr Ali shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Lasbela University, Balochistan, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur (Sindh), Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences, Punjab Agriculture Research Board, Horticulture Research Station, Bahawalpur, Punjab Agriculture department, Fauji Fertilizers, Bahawalpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Orega Group Chemicals, Shamim Group of Industries, Wasaib Organization and Cholistan Development Council, Bahawalpur.
The Chief guest, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia’s Dr. Abdur Rehman S.Al-Dawood in his address remarked that at the moment we had been struggling to save the Dates and Date palms from different kind of virus which had been effecting the production as Saudi Arabia was the leading country for the production of Dates and on top for exporting Dates in the world as the Saudi Arabia had exported dates worth three million dollars last year and now we had been facing threats of virus and we had been trying to control the diseases with the cooperation of Egypt and Pakistan’s Agricultural experts to maintain the progressive ratio of exporting Dates from 1983 to 2009.
He said that he considered Pakistan his second home and try his best for the betterment of this country in every field and fully support to promote the growth and production of Dates in Pakistan with the coordination of those countries which had controlled the virus affecting Dates and Date Palms though the Date Palm had the quality of most resisting power against virus as compared to other plants.
He expressed the hope that this conference would be quite helpful to promote this fruit and would recommend appropriate recommendations for the benefit of many countries. He appreciated the efforts of Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar for conducting this conferencing which would prove to be a good platform for the promotion of the Dates production and processing. Prof. Dr. Ghulam Sarwar Markhand of Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Sindh in his address on the occasion disclosed that Pakistan was on number three in the world for Dates production and Date Palms on 93 acres of land in the country had been producing 6000 tones of Dates annually and expressed deep concern that we had to improve the quality of our product as well as we had to find more ways for marketing as currently the rate of Pakistani dates in the international market was 400 dollars per ton while other countries receive 800 dollars of the same quantity. He underlined the need to improve the processing process which should be designed on scientific lines to improve the quality of our Dates for better results and urged to set-up more Processing units in the country to meet the demand. He hoped that this conference would prove to be milestone for getting required results to promote and improve the Dates production in the country. The Principal, University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, IUB, Prof. Dr. Mouzam
Jamil in his welcome address said that agriculture was the backbone of our economy so we had to give special attention towards it. An exhibition of Dates was also held on the occasion in which various organizations and universities of the country set-up stalls while the world known dates of Saudi Arabia highly attracted the visitors.
Egyptian Agricultural expert, Adil A. Abu-ul-Sawad and others also delivered lectures on the occasion and highlighted the importance and historical facts of the Date.
The issues of production, processing and marketing in the Arab world and South Asia were discussed in the third session of the conference.
Eminent Banker, Qasim
Chishti, Tabish Alvri, Malik Habibullah Bhutta, and other notables, officials, faculty members and students attended the conference.
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