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#Ahwazna – Entire destruction of Ahwazi date palm trees is on the way, no action has been taken

  "Ahwazna" 

Four thousand date palms destroyed in Shat Al-Arab and one million date palms are on the edge of imminent death”, Ahwazi agricultural experts said. The high Salinity of water and the sharp decline in water level of Karoon River have resulted in drying out the roots of millions of palms. The damage of the palm trees is reported so destructive that caused the numbers and productivity of palm trees, one of the main crops in Al-Ahwaz to dramatically decrease in recent years. Environmental studies and reports led by Ahwaz’s agriculture department recently revealed the exposure of one million date palms in northern Ahwaz to severe damage due to the low water level of the Karoon River and the high degree of salinity in it. The reports demonstrate the destruction happened for the date palms in Ahwaz during the Iran-Iraq war was nothing in comparison with the current devastation of palm groves. This condition appears the depth of the disaster suffered by Ahwazi palm trees in general and palm agricultural sector more specifically in Ahwaz. As earlier reports indicated the decline in water level of Karoon River and increasing its salinity levels came as a result of excessive diversion of water from its main course and pumping it to central Persian regions as well as building a lot of dams on the River. Gotvant dam is one of the most dangerous dams in the north of the capital because it was constructed close to giant salt hills, and the result was that the river water submerged the salt hills that ultimately led to the rise of salinity in Karoon water. In addition, several harmful and destructive pests such as stem borers caused severe damage to the palm trees. Other mismanagement factors including the misguided irrigation and poor fertilization have also deteriorated the quality and the productivity of the date palm in Ahwaz. The area of land cultivated with palm trees in Ahwaz is estimated at 114 598 hectares and production per year estimated to be more than 515 thousand tons of dates. The Persian export companies back by the occupying government are controlling the date’s market and prohibit Ahwazi farmers from exporting their dates abroad.

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