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University Of Arizona Leading Date Palm Project In Oman

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 8:42am

date palm plant
Jon Chorover/University of Arizona
A 2-year-old date palm with irrigation outlets.

The University of Arizona is leading a new multimillion-dollar project to boost date palm production in the Middle East nation of Oman.

The program will have far-reaching implications for food development.

The project will include building laboratories in Oman devoted to increasing date palm varieties, preventing pests and diseases, and using biotechnology to increase yields.

Jon Chorover is chair of the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at UA and lead for the project.

He said many people are searching for alternatives to cane sugar due to allergies or nutrition concerns.

“Dates can be used as a substitute for sweeteners. They can also be used in protein bars, so that one’s area where the Omani government’s really interested in moving is development of new food products that can incorporate dates," said Chorover.

The project is funded by the Omani government.

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