Cultivar ‘Assiane’ parthenocarpy in Figuig oasis, Morocco

E. Hanoune, O. Laout, M.A. Elhoumaizi
The economy of the oasis system in Morocco is based mainly on the cultivation of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.). In Figuig oasis located in the southeastern region near the Algerian borders, the estimated number of date palm trees is 190,000 representing 2.8% of total Moroccan date palm. The average annual production is estimated to about 3600 t coming from a diversified cultivar profile from which ‘Aziza Bouzid’ is the best cultivar. The cultivar ‘Assiane’ is the most widely planted date palm cultivar in Figuig oasis which represents more than 51% of the total date palm, followed by the cultivar ‘Boufegous’‎ (14%), ‘Khalt’ (14%), ‘Aziza Bouzid’ (6%), ‘Boufegous-Gharas’ (5%) and ‘Mejhoul’ (2%). Pollination and fruit setting constitute serious problems for the date palm cultivar ‘Assiane’. It was found that the problem of parthenocarpy has lowered the yields and total production. As a result, farmers tend to substitute the cultivar ‘Mejhoul’, ‘Boufegous’ and ‘Najda’. In this study we discuss the future of the cultivar ‘Assiane’ and possibilities of processing parthenocarpic fruits toward other more profitable processed products. The cultivar ‘Assiane’ was planted in a traditional oasis. The new plantation adopts modern cultural and postharvest techniques which increased the yield and produced dates of better morphological and organoleptic quality. The result of the microbiological analyses also showed that the hygienic state of the dates in the new plantation is better than that in the traditional oasis. Resolving the parthenocarpy and the development of the know-how of the farmers in the oasis will allow the cultivar ‘Assiane’ to keep its economic position in Figuig oasis.
Hanoune, E., Laout, O. and Elhoumaizi, M.A. (2023). Cultivar ‘Assiane’ parthenocarpy in Figuig oasis, Morocco. Acta Hortic. 1371, 475-482
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1371.64
morphological, organoleptic, microbiological, parthenocarpy

Acta Horticulturae