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Advances in Agriculture
Volume 2018, Article ID 6469104, 10 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/6469104
Research Article

Date Palm Production Practices and Constraints in the Value Chain in Afar Regional State, Ethiopia

1Afar Region Pastoral Agriculture Development Bureau, Semera, Ethiopia
2College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
3Institute of Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Studies, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Correspondence should be addressed to Melkamu Alemayehu; moc.liamg@56melaklem

Received 17 July 2017; Revised 26 December 2017; Accepted 8 January 2018; Published 6 February 2018

Academic Editor: Tibor Janda

Copyright © 2018 Aregawi Lemlem et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The study was conducted during 2015/2016 in two districts of Afar Regional State which were purposively selected based on their experiences on date palm production and locations relative to Awash River. Objectives of the study were evaluating the existing production practices and constraints of date palm production to generate baseline information for further researches and extension. A total of 117 household heads were interviewed using structured and semistructured questionnaires. Key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and direct observations of date palm plantations have been also conducted. The study was designed to address date palm production along the value chain. The majority of household heads were male, married, and illiterate. About 94.19% of household heads allocated less than one hectare of land for date palm production and had 21–40 years (77.8%) of experience. Seeds (90.6%) were dominantly used for propagation, which are not appropriate for date palm production. Local varieties with low yielding potential were cultivated using flooding irrigation (76.9%). Date palm production was practiced traditionally and constrained with high incidence of insect pests. Capacity building training sessions and researches on proper agronomic, management, and postharvest handling practices are recommended to improve the production of date palm in the region.