2022 production hits 250,000 tons

Date palm orchards in Babil thrive despite water scarcity

BABIL, August 6 — Despite the scarcity of water, the date palm orchards in Babil have overcome the drought by investing in artesian wells. According to the Department of Agriculture, the production level will be higher than the previous year, as there are over 3 million date palm trees comprising 90 varieties of dates. The production rate during the year 2022 reached more than 250,000 tons.

Abdulwahab Al-Basri, a farmer, told 964: “Until this moment, we cannot accurately discuss the production quantities, but based on our experience, it could be comparable to last year’s production.”

“We have tried to maintain the production level despite the water scarcity. Some farmers have utilized artesian wells for irrigating the orchards.”

“If there is sufficient water availability and government support for the date palm sector, we can increase the production level, especially concerning marketing.”

Salem Al-Khafaji, head of Agricultural Associations told 964: “Talking about the production level cannot be determined with certainty until the ‘Al-Ksas’ season or date harvesting is completed. However, the indications confirm that it is comparable to last year’s production level.”

“Focusing on date palms through packaging and date processing, as well as establishing marketing outlets similar to wheat crops, will encourage farmers to improve agriculture and consequently increase production.”

Thamer Al-Khafaji, Director of Agriculture in Babil, told 964: “We expect a noticeable increase in date production this year, reaching up to 300,000 tons with different varieties.”

“The increase in production is the result of efforts to combat the ‘Dubas’ and ‘Al-Hamirah’ insects carried out by agricultural teams at the beginning of the season.”

“Farmers are interested in multiplying the varieties of ‘Al-Barhi’ and ‘Al-Maktum’ dates because they have been affected positively by the production increase, in addition to being sought-after varieties.”