Mohsen Dhafer GHARIB
2007 / 2 / 1
The date palm, that blessed tree, beloved by God and His Prophet and one of the fruits of paradise, is now suffering from neglect. The level of date production this year is reaching an unprecedented low compared with the past years, and the production does not cover the expenses for the agricultural labor.
This is confirmed by the agriculture administration. The orchards owners attributed this year s low level of date production to the high labor costs.
This is the main producing area of dates, and the production has requirements and fees and costs paid by the owners of large orchards to the extent that these costs could increase the price of the palm crops, and this has increased the complexity of the problem.
They are important sources of income that make the cities of Basrah province famous with their large palm groves, which require a serious stance to lift this economic source up from neglect and decline:
"The palm crops have strategic importance and are very useful for the nation and the citizens, but in recent times they have become weak and agricultural production slumped due to the scarcity of pesticides. Therefore, we call upon the competent authorities to give serious attention to this crop."
Agricultural offices in Basrah confirm the deterioration of the level of this year s date production due to the weak control procedures and the high prices of pesticides in the domestic market,
"The rate of date production dropped this year by 50% because of an infestation with the two insects Al-Dubas and Al-Humayra. There was no mosquito control, especially during the past three years following a rise in local prices, which led to this serious disease and the strong decrease of production. If the situation remains as it is and if the state does not interfere, then date production will witness a significant deterioration in the coming period."