Current status of date palm sector in Eritrea
The contribution of the agricultural sector plays a vital role in the rural economy of Eritrea. The mode of agricultural production in the rural areas is subsistence and in most cases leaves little or no surplus for income generation. However, an immense effort was initiated to reverse the situation and hence improve the livelihoods of the farmers. One of the recent initiatives by the Ministry of Agriculture is the provision of an integrated package for farmers to diversify farm production by the introduction of fruit crops into their farming operations. Date palm has been identified as a suitable crop, taking into consideration a huge potential for dates on the national market. A survey was conducted to study the current situation of date palm in the Northern Red Sea (NRS) and Southern Red Sea (SRS) regions of Eritrea. The result indicated only 21,250 date palm trees are existed (55.3% in NRS and 41.5% in SRS). The majority of them are originated from in vitro plants (19,000 date palm trees) and the rest are from seeds and offshoots. 252 farmers have been engaged in date palm cultivation in both regions. Farmers are well trained on Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) of date palm cultivation. Four years after plantation, the results of growing and fruiting of date palm are showing a real success. One of the factors contributing to good growth is the rich soil along the red sea coast. The recent date palm sector culture in Eritrea is achieving the first steps with success but will need more efforts and investment to establish a date palm industry in the country as an important opportunity for Eritrea to fight poverty and to improve its economy.
Mussie Fekadu, B. and Ben Abdallah, A. (2023). Current status of date palm sector in Eritrea. Acta Hortic. 1371, 431-436
survey, dates, vitro-plants, cultivation, GAP, NRS, SRS