First workshops on organic matter management and pest control in date palm groves of Tafilalet

Initiation of the first on-farm trial on organic matter management in March 2017 together with all IP members under the guidance of Prof. Rachid Bouamri and his team of the Agricultural School of Meknes.

Training session on date palm pest control for members of the innovation platform in Jorf and local date producers.

Group picture of the innovation platform members in Tinjdad at the end of the training session about date palm pest control.

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After the official launching of the three innovation platforms (IPs) in Tinjdad, Jorf and Erfoud in March 2017 the first farmers workshops and training courses have been organised in April and May 2017 under the guidance of the National School of Agriculture (ENA) in Meknes (R. Bouamri, L. Aziz, A. Abidar, F. Rachidi and M. Fagroud) together with the local project partners Fimadattes (The Moroccan Interprofessional Federation of Dates), ORMVAT (Regional Office of Agricultural Development of Tafilalet), ANDZOA (National Agency for the Development of Oases and Argan), CRA Drâa-Tafilalet (Regional Chamber of Agriculture of Drâa-Tafilalet), ONCA (National Office of the Agricultural Council) and ONSSA (National Office for Health Security of Food Products).

The topic of the first workshop addressed the importance of organic matter management in date palm groves of the region Tafilalet. On three constitutive days, the team of ENA organized a one day workshop in each IP. The day of each workshop started with an introductory session where the IP members discussed about overall benefits and potential risks of different compost treatment and application methods. The second part of the workshop aimed at establishing the first demonstration trials at those farms which had been selected during a previously IP meeting. Long term observations and repeated analysis of soil and leave samples will identify most suitable applications approaches to be implemented by the farmers.

On request of the IP members, the second trainings course has taken place in each of the IPs on the topic of integrated pest management in May 2017. The training was organized by the team of ENA and supported by Dr. Malaaynine Laghfiri, plant protection specialist at ENA. The course provided an opportunity for the participants to learn about different strategies to monitor and control major date palm pests while reducing negative environmental impacts by the use of pesticides.