22 December 2021, China: The handover ceremony of the first batch of date palm seedlings donated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to China was held in Wenchang, Hainan Province, on Dec. 16. Ma Youxiang, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) attended the ceremony via video links.
Ma said that the donation of 100,000 date palm seedlings was a key consensus between President Xi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in 2019. Competent authorities of both countries attach great importance to the implementation of the consensus. Over the past two years, MARA has carried out a good number of studies with coordination of the Chinese Embassy to the UAE and the UAE Embassy to China, among others. The Coconut Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) in Wenchang, Hainan Province, was ultimately selected as the transplantation and experimental cultivation base of the first batch of 1,500 date palm seedlings.
Ma pointed out that the handover and transplantation of the first batch of date palm seedlings signifies a new area of bilateral agricultural cooperation. In recent years, the two countries have conducted a large amount of researches on date palms at CATAS. As the 1,500 date palm seedlings take root in Wenchang, the China-UAE cooperation throughout the whole date palm industry chain will be further deepened. China is willing to work with the UAE to actively promote the date palms cooperation between China and Arabian Peninsula countries, and build a bigger and stronger date palm industry.
Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of the UAE to China, handed over the seedlings to MARA. Ni Jian, Ambassador of China to the UAE, and representatives of Hainan Province also participated in the event via online or offline channels.