Abstract.

Date palm ( Phoenix dactylifera  L.) is the 3rd most main fruit crop later citrus and mango in Pakistan. This crop is originate in all four countryside of Pakistan on 90,000 ha with a assembly of around 600,000 mt yr −1.  Pakistan’s rank is constantly among the seven major manufacturers and exporters of dates in the domain. Sindh and Balochistan provinces donate more than 90 % of fabrication and yield area in Pakistan. In Sindh, Khairpur is the biodiversity epicenter having further than 300 date palm cultivars. Date palm has a very tough result on socioeconomic events of the zone.

The topmost Pakistani varities are Aseel, Dhakki, Begum Jangi, Rabai, and Muzawati. Pakistani date fruit is being disseminated as new, gasping, or  chohara . Most date-dispensation factories in Pakistan are situated in Khairpur. This article delivers elementary information telling date palm cultivation in Pakistan, major flood-exaggerated date palms and fruit, defense from monsoon rains, the 1st viable trial for date palm micro propagation using inflorescence explants at the Date Palm Research Institute (DPRI) at Khairpur, and main date palm difficulties usually in Pakistan, counting diseases and pests, with stress on the Khairpur and Balochistan areas, and date fruit aeration over the procedure of solar dryers. 

Introduction.

                 Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is well-thought-out as an imperative cash crop of the district Khairpur, which is also the main dates manufacturing district in Pakistan. The date palm has an financial rank because of its fruit, which is most nutritious and vigor so long as food (Ishtiaq et al., 1988). Dates are ridiculous in certain nutrients and deliver a good foundation of rapid vigor due to great carbohydrate gratified. In adding to carbohydrates dates hold minerals, proteins, fats and vitamins etc. Date palm varaities  are of three main kinds according to their fruit wetness gratified i.e., lenient, semi-dry and dry cultivars (Selim et al., 1970).

The date palm tree delivers groups in rural areas of Pakistan with many profits. People eat dates as great-energy nourishment. During Ramadan, Muslims interruption their fast each day by intake dates. Wood from the shrub is used to physique homes and to create artifacts and is cut and charred for fuel. Palm fronds are used to make handiworks and leafl ets to weave fruit hampers and doormats.

Dates are full-grown in all four provinces of Pakistan. The main date-manufacturing areas are Kech (the directorial midpoint is Turbat) and Panjgur (Balochistan), Khairpur and Sukkur (Sindh), Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan (Dera Ismail Khan), Muzaffar Garh, Multan and Bahawalpur (Punjab), and Dera Ismail Khan (KPK).

Current Date Palm Problems.

Zeeshan Ali

Proposed by: Dr Muhammad Yaseen

Department of agriculture extension, College of agriculture,UoS, Sargodha

There are a lot of difficulties and confines for the expansion of the date palm industry, which comprise all activities linked to date palm, e.g., manufacture, defense, and processing. The difficulties vary between the four provinces of Pakistan. Monsoon rains through the growing of date fruit are constantly the most solemn risk and the main challenge fronting Pakistani growers. Uneven rainfall from the close of June to August can abolish the entire crop whether on the tree or date fruit curative on mats. Use of horde covers is not cost operative, particularly with the lower-value cultivars and great relative humidity. The inaccessibility of tissue-refined palms of native elite cultivars is deterring the formation of new plantations and dissemination the problems related with conventional approaches using minor offshoots. Modern tools and motorized lines of factories, incomplete number of high-quality native cultivars, hygiene, and absence of cold storage services are major difficulties facing the date-dispensation area in Pakistan. 

Cultivation Practices

Description of Current Cultivation Practices

Date palm is an significant crop of Sindh province, mostly grownup in Khairpur and Sukkur districts. Almost 85 % of the Sindh dates are formed in Khairpur alone. Date palm making is a main home of revenue for local growers. In Khairpur, extreme benefit  is extended through intercropping with other plant class under the cover of date palms (normal temperature in summer is 30–35 °C). Date palms permit other types such as maize, banana, wheat, rice, alfalfa, and vegetables to flourish in terms of development. Some of these plant species essential full sun and recurrent irrigation such as rice and wheat. Afterward the distance among adult date palms is sometimes enlarged to reach 10 m to permit light diffusion to cereal crops . The relative output of adult date palm trees has diminished.

Newly reputable date palms, 3–4 years old, also have been pretentious. Flood  irrigation has infrequently produced water to enter the young dominant branches of the trees and reason fungal contagion from  Diplodia  disease.

Practical Approach to Establish a New Date Palm Farm

Beginning date palm plant sales outlet is not a common exercise in Pakistan, to produce out side-shoots for field farming with a little mortality rate. Date palm cultivators usually get small offshoots by unraveling them from the parental plant then taming them straight in the field; however, this transmits a mortality rate which may spread 80 %. For bringing offshoots to distant areas, the outer leaves are clipped off and offshoots of dissimilar sizes sent by truck. Stimulating the conventional knowledge in the date palm world, most of the cultivators favor to start new plantings throughout June and July, in the central of summer. It is optional that the spring or autumn months are the finest time for offshoot cultivation to escape high summer temperature and cold tension in winter. This is a sensible repetition under the current state in Pakistan though there is a high invasion rate of RPW in winter. Classic mortality rates later offshoot cultivation are about 20–40 %. Moreover, in the Thar Reward in India, near the edge of Sindh province, removing offshoots in the month of September showed advanced existence (90 %) as against 65 % when relocated in the months of March–April.

Fertilizer.

Date palms requirement fertilizer like other refined crops. Intercropping with vegetables and other crops in Sindh, the unwell achieved date palm estates in Balochistan make biochemical fertilization financially impracticable. The only fertilizer custom is finished the calculation of farm dung in winter, a repetition found in Sindh. Nevertheless, there is an unintended request of chemical fertilizers finished the quantities given to the intercropped species with date palm. It is significant to reference that the soil of Sindh has Mg and P lack  which needs exogenous request with a source for these main rudiments. A fertilizer package should be made-to-order to the date palms, particularly.  Offshoots were usually transplanted amongst adult trees for new cultivations in Sindh.    Offshoots transplanted to their enduring sites to establish a new date palm farm in Sindh .A.A. Abul-Soad et al.after the founding phase for fast and finest growth. On the other hand, most date palm plantations are not frequently fertilized in other provinces. Moreover, many of the date palm estates in Punjab are dispersed and abandoned.

  1. NPK. 17-17-17
  2. DAP. 23%
  3. SOP. 50%
  4. FM. In a raw form
  5. HA. Humic acid

Irrigation.

Flood irrigation is the mutual repetition when vegetables and other crops are intercropped with date palm, a practice which may be cumulative the weakening of disease contagions related with root rot. The public irrigation system for date palm plantation in Pakistan can be separated into two kinds:

  1. Flood Irrigation.

Flood irrigation is adept in Sindh, Punjab, and KPK provinces concluded slighter irrigation canals splitting from the Indus River. This irrigation technique is the oldest technique known and widely practical in date palm farming.

  • Groundwater Irrigation.

This font is mostly used in Balochistan province where the desert location is predominant. Furthermore, the groundwater depth (availability) has a main influence on the uneven efficiency of date palm in the desert areas of Balochistan. A drop of water level to 8–10 m has produced drought influence on the date palm making the farmers to pump profounder groundwater for irrigation of the trees. The yearly rainfall differs between 50 and 250 mm which renews the aquifers.

Flood-Affected Date Palms

Extreme flooding happened in Pakistan in August 2010. A torrent of water endangered date palms, mostly at Khairpur. Floodwater rose 1–3 m up the palm shorts in certain areas of Khairpur. The impression on the tree and fruit of date palm was noted (Abul-Soad  2010 ,  2011a) . It was detected that some of the new trees (offshoots) of new farmsteads died, whereas the offshoots that quiet devoted to parent trees were extra tolerant. However, adult date palm trees were talented to endure development and development although the inferior part of the trunk was completely engrossed in fl oodwater for a period of time . Great air pouches in the root tissue deceptively play a character in the respiratory system of the date palm tree (Barreveld 1993).

Date palm is the keystone for the employment of people at Khairpur, and  fl ooding delays all activities in the area throughout and after the monsoon rain. Water enclosed the date palms and houses in the locality, as well. Moreover, the fruit crop from young trees behavior fruit groups was enclosed with fl oodwater and totally demolished. In adding, fl ooding stationary other date palm actions such as reaping, processing, and curative in the sun.

Fruit Bunch Covering

Date palm is typically grown in dry and arid regions where a climate of warm dry summer and slight rainy winter succeeds. However, a insufficient countries are confronted with the monsoon rains throughout the fruit-ripening season in July, August, and September, such as Pakistan, Oman, Sahara Desert (Sahel) in Africa, and USA (southern California and Arizona). Rainfall can harm the date fruit within solitary 1–2 days. Rainfall for insufficient sporadic hours can cause blows in the pericarp (the outermost coating of the fruit) at late khalal stage of Otakin cv. in Khairpur (Fig.  5.8 ), whereas other cultivars at initial green khalal period are fewer injured.

Pruning and Dethorning of Fronds and Pollination Approaches.

Pakistani growers typically transport out frond pruning of adult trees afterward produce in August and earlier spathe appearance in February. The third time is during fertilization in March and April. The minor 2–3 whorls of fronds are censored and 15 cm of the base left in home to be cast-off as stages to climb the tree for the public practice of manual pruning. Simultaneously 2–3 leaf whorls are retained on the tree underneath where the spathes are emerging. Thus those fronds can help provision the weighty fruit gatherings to avoid bunch stalk breakdown, in most of the cultivars. During the pruning action, unwanted offshoots are detached to inspire growth of the parental palm and residual offshoots and to allow improved access to the attitude palm.

Pest and Disease Control

Date palm trees in Sindh, mainly Khairpur, hurt from a lethal illness called sudden weakening syndrome (Abul-Soad et al.  2011;  Maitlo et al.  2013 ). Indications look like those of like wilt diseases, such as palm lethal yellowing produced by  Phytoplasma  which is a fatal disease of coconut and also infectious to date palm (Al Awadhi et al.  2002;  Ammar et al.  2005 ; Thomas  1974) . The ventilation of fronds showed in date palm weakening disease is also alike to indications of bayoud disease produced by  Fusarium oxysporum  Schlecht. f. sp .albedinis  in Morocco and Algeria (Djerbi  1982 ).

The communal symptoms of rapid failure syndrome in Khairpur twitch with an orange-yellowish rachis shadowed by slow ventilation of the pinnae. Drying jerks from old inferior fronds and travels toward younger dominant fronds and fi nally with a whole dry crown shadowed by death within 6 months (Fig.  5.12 ). The disease may affl ict adult date palm trees in winter stopping spathe appearance in February, or contagion may happen during fruit growth in summer causing young and unripe fruit development.

  Major Problems Facing Date Palm Cultivation

In Punjab, consciousness around cultivars, irrigation does, fertilizer claim, offshoot transplantation, and insect/pest of date palm are the main issues hindering improved yield and eventually the profit  for growers. There is the necessity to Eurostar growers about irrigation and fertilizer application, disease and pest management, offshoot transplanting, and dispensation of dates (Ata et al.  2012) . The main difficulties opposite date palm cultivation, manufacture, and defense in the four Pakistani provinces are deliberated according to their latent.

Research Activities of the Date Palm Research Institute

Date palm is of financial status in Pakistan. Nevertheless, there are only a scarce minor research stations particular in date palm fitting to the agriculture departments in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. The Date Palm Research Institute (DPRI) was recognized in 2006 at Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur. Its key determination is to comportment research on numerous features of date palm.

Date Palm Distribution In Pakistan

Date palm cultivars are disseminated in all above Pakistan; however, about 90 % are originate in the Kech, Panjgur, Dera Ismail Khan, and Khairpur districts (Table  5.1 ). The main Pakistani cultivars are Aseel in Khairpur and Sukkur districts and Dhakki in Dera Ismail Khan which is now being discrete to other parts of Punjab and Sindh provinces. Begum Jangi is the shared cultivar in Balochistan province particularly in Kech district, and Rabai and Muzawati are originate in the desert areas of Hamun-e-Mashkel salt lake and Panjgur.

Conclusions.

Date palm is an vital Pakistani crop, ranked in position after mango and citrus. Despite the position of Pakistan between the top ten manufacturing countries, and one of the three main exporters, the real cash value of date fruits is very little. A main aim late this detail is the lack of information about Pakistani cultivars in the global market. Energies are wanted to endorse cultivars such as Dhakki, Aseel, Muzawati, and Begum Jangi. In reality, more proficiency and efficiency in the date business will lead to enlarged prices for Pakistani dates in the native and international markets. There are a insufficient trials for the profitable micropropagation of date palms, but, below the current state, tissue-cultured plants of the international choice cultivars such as Medjool, Barhee, Ajwa, and Safawi should be presented with backed prices to growers to alteration the cultivar structure in Pakistan and to upsurge date spread prospects. 

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