In Aswan: 1st world conference on by-products of palms

18-12-2018 12:42 PM

Muhammad al-Aswani


The first world conference By-Products of Palms “ByPalma” has been held in Aswan, some 700km south of Cairo, from 15 to 17 December, with participation of professionals and researchers from 32 countries. ByPalma is the first conference of its kind solely focusing on the by-products of palm plantations around the globe and their current and potential applications.

The conference provided an interdisciplinary platform for leading academic scientists, researchers, artisans, entrepreneurs and industry professionals, startups and we’ll-established firms, as well as palm growers.

Participants exchanged ideas about recent developments, technologies, innovations, trends, concerns, challenges, and opportunities, related to palm by-products research and design on the topic, manufacturing, and crafts.

The exhibition showcased traditional and modern products and crafts made from palm by-products.

Egypt is home to more than 15 million date palms and is considered the world biggest producer of dates. It has a long heritage of utilising date palm by-products since ancient Egyptians.

The main organising institutions of the conference was Ain Shams University’s Faculty of Engineering, a world-renowned engineering school and a leader in date palm by-products research and development, jointly with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Most palm species have similar by-products of annual pruning including; palm leaflets, midribs, fruit branches and coir, as well as the trunk at the end of palm life.

These by-products represent a sustainable material base for a wide spectrum of industries ranging from compost, medium density fiberboards (MDF), block boards, and pulp, up to fiber reinforcements for advanced composites. They opens a vast potential for sustainable development in rural and urban palm plantation areas.Governor of Aswan, Ahmad Ibrahim, said that Aswan, being a region that grew a fifth of all Egypt’s date palms, stood to benefit well from the conference. He said he planned to apply various ideas disclosed, promising to offer them all opportunity of success. For his part, Muhammad al-Zamlout, Governor of al-Wadial-Gadeed (New Valley) governorate which includes the oases of Egypt’s Western Desert, and which boasts the largest date palms population in Egypt, said that numerous projects were underway in the oases to utilise palm by-products.

Hussein Gadain, FAO Representative in Egypt, said FAO was collaborating with Egypt’s Agriculture Ministry, UNIDO, and the Khalifa International Award to set a strategy for developing the palm and date sectors in Egypt, including 16 projects to raise exports of the sector from an annual 30,000 tons to 120,000 tons, meaning an increase in yearly revenue from 40 million to 180 million US dollars. The new projects, Mr Gadain said, would be executed in Aswan, Wadi al-Gadid, Bahriya and Siwa oases.

Watani International

18 December 2018

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