Project

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Application of organic bio-fertilizer technology to improve the sustainability of date palm production and cultivation

English title Application of organic bio-fertilizer technology to improve the sustainability of date palm production and cultivation
Applicant Mäder Paul
Number 160904
Funding scheme r4d (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development)
Research institution Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL)
Institution of higher education Research Institute of Organic Agriculture - FiBL
Main discipline Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Start/End 01.08.2016 - 31.12.2019
Approved amount 490'352.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Botany
Sociology

Keywords (6)

Biotechnology; Participatory research; Technology innovation; Rural development; Sustainable ressource management; Soil fertility

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Dattelpalme ist eine wichtige Kulturpflanze in Marokko und Tunesien. Raue Umweltbedingungen und die zunehmende Verbreitung von Wurzelkrankheiten gefährden jedoch den Dattelanbau. Um Erträge zu sichern, setzen Bauern grosse Mengen chemische Dünger, Pestizide und eine intensive Bewässerung ein, was negative Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt und den Lebensunterhalt der Bauern hat.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojektes

Um Kultivierungsmethoden nachhaltiger zu gestalten, zielen wir auf die Entwicklung einer organischen Biodüngertechnologie, die den Einsatz von symbiontischen Bodenorganismen (Biodüngern), organischer Recyclingdünger und Mischkultur kombiniert. Im Fokus der Biodünger stehen dabei Mykorrhizapilze und Rhizobakterien. Diese winzigen Bodenorganismen versorgen die Pflanze mit Nährstoffen und erhöhen deren Toleranz gegenüber a(biotischem) Stress. Eine Kollektion effizienter Biodünger soll erstellt werden, welche das Wachstum, die Nährstoffaufnahme und Krankheitsresistenz der Dattelpalme erhöhen. Angepasste Vermehrungs- und Einsatztechniken sollen gemeinsam mit Bauern und Laboratorien entwickelt und getestet werden. Eine Innovationsplattform soll dabei den Austausch zwischen allen Akteuren der Dattelpalmindustrie gewährleisten und neues technologisches Wissen verbreiten. Unsere Technologie soll zu einer nachhaltigeren Landwirtschaft beitragen und dabei helfen, die Dattelproduktion zu sichern, ländliche Existenzen zu verbessern und der voranschreitenden Landdegradation entgegen zu wirken.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Durch den Einbezug verschiedener Akteure der Dattelpalmindustrie und der gemeinsamen Innovationsentwicklung kann eine Umstellung der aktuellen Anbaupraktiken besser realisiert werden. Das entstandene Wissen kann auf weitere Dattelpalm-Anbaugebiete übertragen werden und so zu einer globalen Optimierung des Systems beitragen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 03.03.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Effect of organic fertilizer and commercial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the growth of micropropagated date palm cv. Feggouss
El Kinany S., Achbani E., Faggroud M., Ouahmane L., El Hilali R., Haggoud A., Bouamri R., Effect of organic fertilizer and commercial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the growth of micropropagated date palm cv. Feggouss, in Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Gian Nicolay; FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
National Agency for the Development of Oases and Argan (ANDZOA) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Moroccan Interprofessional Federation of dates (Fimadattes) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Lotfi Fki; FSS (Faculty of Science of Sfax) Tunisia (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Aziz Larbi; ENA-Dev (National School of Agriculture, Department of Development Engineering) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Fouad Rachidi; ENA-Tech (National School of Agri., Dep. of Science and Plant Production Techniques) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Sarah Symanczik; FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
National Office for Health Security of Food Products (ONSSA) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Regional Office of Agricultural Development of Tfilalet (ORMVAT) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
El Hassan Achbani; INRA (National Institute of Agronomic Research) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Rachid Bouamri; ENA-Prot (National School of Agri., Dep. of Plant Protection and Environment) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Friedrich Oehl; Agroscope Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
National Office of the Agricultural Council (ONCA) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Ahmed Mliki; CBBC (Centre of Biotechnology of Borj-cedria) Tunisia (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Mohamed Hafidi; CAU (Cadi Ayyad University, Faculty of Sciences Semlalia) Morocco (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
International Conference on Mycorrhiza 9 Poster The project fertiledatepalm – bio-inoculation and organic matter management for sustainable date palm propagation and cultivation 31.07.2017 Prague, Czech Republic Symanczik Sarah;
La Biotechnologie aux service d'une agriculture durable Talk given at a conference Application de la biotechnologie des fertilisants biologiques et organiques pour l’amélioration de la croissance du palmier dattier et des cultures sous-jacentes 26.12.2016 Béni Mellal, Morocco Hafidi Mohamed;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Governance and innovation for the benefit of the date palms’ Economic Interest Groups Workshop 27.10.2017 Erfoud, Morocco
Palmier dattier et Oasis : Atouts et Contraintes Talk 04.11.2016 Marrakesh, Morocco


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Workshop on pest management in date palm groves 08.05.2017 Tinjdad, Erfoud, Jorf, Morocco
Workshop on organic matter management in date palm groves 28.03.2017 Tinjdad, Erfoud, Jorf, Morocco

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Mycorrhizal fungi as natural bio-fertilizers: How to produce and use International 2018
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Fertiledatepalm project flyer International 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Project stand at the Salon International de Dattesin Morocco International 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Probleme im Dattelanbau - Mikroorganismen, Mischkultur und Recyclingdünger sollen helfen fibl.org International German-speaking Switzerland 2016
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) www.fertiledatepalm.net Project Homepage International 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
182390 Microbial nitrogen cycling and functional diversity of soil microbes in organic and conventional farming systems under temperate and tropical climates 01.01.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Date palm is an important crop in Morocco, Tunisia and many other drylands of the world with a high agricultural, economic and cultural value. The harsh environmental conditions of those areas, which are further accelerated by climate change and the spread of root diseases, are threatening date palm propagation and cultivation. As a consequence two third of all date palms were destroyed in Morocco during the last decades, causing substantial economic and ecological damages. To overcome the growth limitations, nowadays date palm production and cultivation regularly involves high inputs of mineral fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation. However, these high external inputs strongly impact the environment and livelihoods. The project aims at establishing a novel organic bio-fertilizer technology, combining the application of native beneficial soil microorganisms during tissue culture and field propagation of date palms, together with adapted agricultural management practices using organic amendments and intercropping with leguminous nitrogen fixing crops. As bio-fertilizers, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are in focus. A culture collection of native AMF and PGPR, isolated from date palm roots and rhizosphere, will be established, and strains selected for date palm growth promotion, nutrient acquisition and pathogen suppression will subsequently be used as bio-fertilizers. Customized propagation and application techniques of bio-fertilizers will be elaborated such as modern in-vitro methods suitable for tissue culture laboratories and low-tech, knowledge-rich approaches for smallholder farmers. The technology, integrating the use of organic amendments and leguminous intercrops, will be developed in a participatory approach, working at laboratory, on-station and on-farm scale. As part of an innovation platform, aims and problems of date palm producers (tissue culture laboratories, smallholder farmers and farmer’s organisations) will be targeted in order to align them with the research process. Gained knowledge on technical and methodological innovations will be disseminated to a broader circle of stakeholders including regional and national agricultural agencies in order to influence their operational procedures. The proposed organic bio-fertilizer technology will contribute to more sustainable, resilient agriculture, safeguarding natural resources. It will help to maintain and increase date palm production, and to counteract the on-going land degradation and desertification of dryland soils. Thereby rural livelihoods will be improved, and poverty-driven migration to urban centres will decrease. It is anticipated that the knowledge gained in this project in Morocco and Tunisia can be transferred to other areas where date palm represents a major crop.
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