DPD is very excited to be attending the GFIA exhibition in Abu Dhabi on the 20th and 21st March 2017. The exhibition will provide a great opportunity for DPD to explore the latest sustainable innovations for horticulturalists and growers, as the development of our new greenhouse facility gets underway. DPD will be exploring key technological developments in areas such as irrigation, building management and LED lighting systems. The exhibition will also give DPD the opportunity to meet and connect with many growers, large and small, in the exhibition’s dedicated “Sustainable Date Palm Technology Zone”.
DPD is pleased to be able to share this opportunity with representatives from its parent company, Atul Ltd. DPD will also be sharing it’s stand at the exhibition with longstanding customer Green Coast Nurseries of Fujairah, who will be kindly providing some sample Date Palm plants. The forum, which was launched in 2014, is one of the largest of its kind, with thousands of companies from all over the world in attendance. The exhibition also provides a focus on the bigger picture by presenting speakers who will explore wider issues such as worldwide food security, energy solutions and sustainable agriculture practices.
Many thanks to Scott Frische and his colleagues from the Phoenix, Arizona Date Palm Appreciation Society for their generous help in making possible a fantastic trip to see the important Date Palm Variety collection(s) of Phoenix, Arizona. With the assistance of local date palm expert Scott Frische, DPD are looking to expand the range of varieties it produces to ensure that these varieties continue to be available to growers worldwide.
The tissue culture process requires regular initiations of new starter material to ensure the continuous production of quality plants. DPD only use high quality offshoot material, DNA fingerprinted to confirm variety and specially selected from well managed traditional collections for our tissue culture process.
Visiting a variety of plantations around Phoenix including at the Arizona State University (ASU), we were shown both historic palms descended from offshoots imported over 100 years ago and new varieties which have been specially bred in the US.
The ASU grove is the 2nd largest collection of varieties in US featuring over 40 date palm cultivars originating from Morocco, Algeria, Iraq and many other countries. These include major commercial varieties such as Medjool, Deglet Noor and Barhee and many less common, but equally high quality varieties like Halawi, Khadrawy and Zahidi. As housing development has impacted upon many of the traditional date palm plantations in the Phoenix area, the ASU collection has provided an increasingly important home for many rare varieties.
A wide selection of varieties including cultivars favoured for their Khalal fruit were identified and sampled for further testing and DPD hope to begin the importation and propagation process soon.
DPD would like to thank everyone who helped make this trip so successful, most notably Scott Frische, Ron Palmer,. Deborah Thirkhill, James Badman and ASU.
DPD were honoured to be visited by a host of important guests on the 12th May 2016. British Deputy High Commissioner for Ahmedabad Geoff Wain, UK Trade & Investment Specialist John Moss, Local Councillor Nigel Woollcombe-Adams and Company Directors Bharathy Mohanan, Ajitsingh Batra and Shailesh Pandya from DPD’s parent company Atul Ltd, India were all in attendance.
Guests were invited to DPD to look at our present operations and discuss potential opportunities for expansion. After being shown a presentation on our company history and current operations, our visitors were given a tour of our laboratory and glasshouse facilities.
Of particular interest was the relationship between DPD and Atul and UK trade with India. DPD have been supplying plants to Atul since 2011, assisting them in their ‘Greening the Desert’ program being undertaken in Rajasthan and Gujarat States.
With a growing market demand and an increasing number of countries planting date palms, the general consensus was that DPD staff should continue with their excellent work in supplying the world with Date Palms and look at ways to expand our date palm production to ensure we are capable of meeting the increasing global demand.
DPD were recently visited by journalist Daniel Bardsley of the National Newspaper, UAE. Click on the links below to read his articles on us and learn about how we developed into one of the largest suppliers of tissue cultured Date Palm plants into the U.A.E.
DPD were delighted to be able to support Green Coast Nurseries when they received the prestigious Khalifa International Date Palm Award 2013, at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. In a lavish ceremony, Green Coast Nurseries were honoured for their services to the date palm community, and DPD were proud to be able to share this moment with our longstanding nursery partner.
Members of staff from DPD have recently returned from a visit to their parent company, ATUL Ltd., in India.
On what was a memorable visit, we were treated to a guided tour around the brand new laboratory and nursery facilities at the ATUL Rajasthan Project. Created by a joint venture between ATUL and the Rajasthan government in Jodhpur, DPD staff were highly impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of all involved with the project.
We went onto visit ATUL’s nursery at the ATUL main campus in Gujarat. This is where we were able to see DPD plants, which had been shipped directly from the UK, growing on for sale to India’s farmers. Our primary hardened plants are replanted and grown to the 1-2 pinnate leaf stage in the nursery, ready for farmers to plant. We were very impressed by the comprehensive pre and after sales service offered by ATUL to local customers, which included field preparation assistance, planting advice and classroom instruction, conducted by well qualified engineers.
The modern and well managed facilities at both sites were a tribute to the commitment ATUL are undertaking with their date palm projects in India.
We would like to thank everyone who made us feel so welcome in India and pass on our congratulations to all the staff involved for the fantastic work currently being undertaken at ATUL.
DPD have recently returned from their first ever participation at the 3rd Salon International des Dattes du Maroc in Erfoud, Morocco. In partnership with ATUL Ltd, DPD had an exhibition stand at the event to display the different projects that DPD and ATUL currently have and to promote awareness of date palm production in the UK and India. In what was a very successful exhibition, DPD would like to thank everyone who helped organise the event and all the people that made us feel so welcome in Morocco. We give special thanks to ANDZOA, who gave us the opportunity to participate and ensured all our needs were catered for beyond our expectations. We hope that we will be able to return for next year’s exhibition and continue to grow DPD’s reputation across Morocco.
During the autumn of 2011, Date Palm Developments (DPD) was approached by the EDT (Engineering Development Trust) project to sponsor a local school, The Blue School, Wells, in a science and engineering project.
An independent registered charity, established in 1984, the EDT runs schemes to inspire and motivate young people to choose a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
EDT’s STEM scheme encourages work related learning for 11 to 21 year-olds, to enhance their technical, personal and employability skills through industry-led projects, industrial placements and specialised courses. In this instance DPD became involved with the Engineering Education Scheme (England and Scotland) in a 6-month STEM project for four 16-17 year old students, chosen by their school.
For many years, DPD has been recognised by the ‘torpedo’ style pots used for growing and shipping their tissue culture date palm plants. With DPD always looking to research and improve all aspects of their Date Palm production, the EDT project provided the perfect opportunity to study potential pot improvements, whilst creating an excellent project for the students.
With the able and enthusiastic support of our systems support engineer Peter Duncan and the assistance of senior management of the local Avalon Plastics company, DPD agreed to sponsor 4 pupils from Wells Blue Secondary School, to design a plant pot and carrier tray for the culture of our date palm plants.
DPD provided the initial design brief, including consideration of the requirements for optimal plant growth, the economics of space utilisation, packing volume, weight, cost of manufacture and the ergonomics/requirements of manual handling.
At a workshop hosted by the City of Bristol College’s Engineering Department, the project progressed to the design of 4 possible styles of pot from which one would be selected for a prototype to be constructed. With input and fine-tuning from DPD in the selection process, the design of pot and carrying tray was finalised. The students were able to experience and make use of the latest computer aided design programmes and expert tuition from the College engineering staff, culminating in the production of a prototype using a state of the art 3D printing facility.
The pots will be manufactured from polypropylene using injection moulding. Using the final design drawings created by the students, moulding tools can be created for the plant pot and carrier tray. We are currently consulting with a local company, Avalon Plastics, who are providing advice on this concept and the final manufacturing procedure. If feasible and economical, DPD could then be supplied locally, with a product that fits its requirements. The 4 pupils would have fulfilled their project goals, gained invaluable experience in a practical, commercial design and manufacturing project and reached a very satisfactory conclusion for all parties concerned.
The above photograph shows the four students, their teacher and our systems support engineer together at the EDT celebration day held in Bristol at the beginning of May. One of DPD’s directors, Mr. Shailesh Pandya (Atul Europe) was invited to be on the panel of assessors for the 27 schools who entered from the South West of England, where he gained insight into some the latest engineering design and technology development programs from leading UK manufacturers.
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