The International Date Palm Conference held at Islamia University of Bahawalpur decided to form a 10-member Consortium D-10 of the date producing Islamic countries for the promotion and protection of date palms and dates.

It decided that the head office of the consortium will be set up in Saudi Arabia and the other member countries include Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Oman, UAE and Iran.

The Islamia University of Bahawalpur has performed a major role in the establishment of this consortium and will play active role to make it a successful group for the protection and projection of date palms and dates through scientific research.

The foreign delegates included King Saud University, Riyadh Agriculture Scientist Dr Abdur Rehman S Al-Dawood, Cairo University, Egypt's Agriculture expert and researcher Dr Adil Ahmed Abul Sawad and many others including the delegates from the national universities fully endorsed the proposal to establish 10 countries consortium.

The Higher Education Commission has decided to hold an international conference of D-10 Consortium soon at Islamabad in which the delegates from 50 countries will be invited. It was decided on the occasion that after the functioning of this consortium, the experts and researchers would visit the member countries to get know-how about the research activities, plantation, climatic and production conditions of date palms and to exchange information and knowledge to launch joint ventures in this regard. Future strategy would be evolved for the promotion of marketing at international level as well as an International Date Palm Research Centre would be set-up besides establishing separate date-base of every date producing country for better research analysis.

It was also decided to arrange such kind of conferences every year and efforts would be made to educate and guide the date palm growers in the right direction.

Special training programmes would be launched for them to develop awareness about the economy related with the production of dates and the value addition importance.

Moreover, special steps would be taken to promote the dates production, storage, processing and packaging. Earlier, the Saudi Arabia's Agricultural expert and scientist along with the IUB vice-chancellor inaugurated a date palms farm at Baghdadul Jadid Campus where around 1,000 saplings of the available varieties of the date from all over the Islamic countries will be planted.

The papers of the Saudi scientist's paper, Dr Ghulam Rasool andof agriculture expert from Sindh Dr Ghulam Sarwar Markhand's lecture were highly informative. The delegates of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Agriculture University, Faisalabad, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Sindh, Lasbella University of Agriculture, Water & Marine Science, Balochistan and the Punjab Agriculture Research Board took part in the conference.