ICARDA’s GCC Date Palm Project Wins Khalifa Award 2021

Published Date
February 24, 2021
Published by
ICARDA Communication Team
Photographer: Maged Alamri. Courtesy of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm Production and Agricultural Innovation
Date market in Oman (photographer Maged Alamri), Courtesy of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm Production and Agricultural Innovation

ICARDA is thrilled to announce that it has won the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIADPAI) in the ‘Pioneering Development and Productive Projects’ category. ICARDA shares this prize with Tunisia-based Boudjebel S.A. VACPA.

“I am delighted that ICARDA and our partners at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have received this recognition,” said Dr. Aziz Niane, who heads ICARDA’s Arabian Peninsula Research Program.

“It constitutes a significant step towards our plans for a Center of Excellence for integrated dryland farming systems, with date palms at the core,” he added.

Funded by the GCC Secretariat since its inception 15 years ago, ICARDA’s winning project is currently in its third phase (2018-2022).

According to Dr. Hussein Al-Ibrahim, Director of Agriculture and Food at the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat, this project "has enhanced the efficiency of water for irrigation and the use of appropriate and innovative technologies to improve date palm yields and pest management.” 


Date palms constitute a key sector for the region’s economy with 70 percent of all internationally traded dates coming from Arab countries.

KIADPAI, sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, was established in 2007 precisely to recognize date palm as a strategic commodity, and to boost innovative research in the field. 

“KIADPAI is a one-of-its-kind award that contributes to the improvement of the date sector, productivity and related agricultural innovations,” declared His Excellency Dr. Abdel Wahab Zayed, KIADPAI’s Secretary General and official spokesperson. 

The official Khalifa Awards Ceremony will be held virtually on 16 March 2021, at 12:00 UAE time. Watch this space for more news about the award!