NEWS & ARTICLES
Author: Sandra Piesik
25th July, 2012
Chartered Architect RIBA FRSG
Author of Arish: Palm-Leaf Architecture published by Thames & Hudson.
At a time of rising energy, commodity and food prices, together with frustration with outcomes from the Rio + 20 Summit, some people may look at new technologies as ‘a saving grace’ to current challenges facing all of us.
These challenges will not go away, they are here to stay because the world’s resources are finite. The world population is growing and questions are asked about how we will feed 9 billion people by 2050 with already dilapidated Earth’s resources and how and where we will house them?
BASRAH DATE FARMING
For the second time in six months, PRT Basrah hosted California date palm experts from Phoenix Agrotech, and facilitated meetings with numerous local and national Iraqi date palm farmers, agribusinesses and government officials.
Because southern California’s soils, climate and water situation are very similar to Basrah’s, the visit by these experts is critical to the improvement of the date economy. California agriculturalists have developed over the past 80 years an extensive body of knowledge regarding water management and soil salinity, which is applicable to southern Iraq’s situation. Iraqi funded project plans for model date farms and modern alfalfa and wheat farms are being developed.
By SAMANTHA TIPLER Posted: Sunday, January 2, 2011 6:54 am | Updated: 9:11 am, Sun Jan 2, 2011
…Last March, Currans attended a date palm conference in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. There he met representatives from Phoenix Agrotech, a California company. Six months later he set up an exchange program between Iraqi date palm farmers and the American company.
“They had a very enlightening and wonderful time,” Currans said. “The Iraqis came back full of compliments and praise for the hospitality and generosity of the Californian host, all the things they’ve learned and all the new practices.”
Since then, Phoenix Agrotech employees traveled to Basra to help the Iraqis design model farms.
Currans had the freedom to find this problem and begin building ways to address it because of the way the USDA program he works for operates. “You go and see what’s going on in a province,” he said.
During the 4th International Date Palm Conference in Abu Dhabi (UAE), Phoenix Agrotech signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United Arab Emirates University. The purpose of the MOU is to develop technical cooperation and to promote relations and mutual understanding between the two institutions.
Signing ceremony at Abu Dhabi on March 15, 2010 with Abdullah Saad Al Khanbashi, Vice-Chancellor of the UAE University, and Franz Hoffmann of Phoenix Agrotech. HH Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan (middle), Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the UAE University, and other dignitaries are watching the ceremony, which was prominently covered in the Emirate’s press.
FRANZ HOFFMANN OF PHOENIX AGROTECH NAMED PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL JURY FOR THE KHALIFA DATE PALM RESEARCH AWARD
The Khalifa International Date Palm Award was established in 2007 by HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and carries a yearly endowment of AED 3,500,000 (USD 630,000).
Starting with the 2011 Award, the International Scientific Jury will be chaired by Franz Hoffmann of Phoenix Agrotech. More information is available on the Award Website at www.kidpa.ae.
Phoenix Agrotech will be represented with an exhibition booth at the International Date Palm Exhibition, held in Al Ain, UAE, from October 20 to 24, 2010.