Project coordination

The tasks of coordination and of technical and scientific supervision are entrusted to the Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare (IAO), a Foreign Ministry institution with a vast experience in international development cooperation in the rural sector, which is already implementing several other bilateral agricultural and livestock programmes in Libya. IAO's GIS (Geographic Information System) section has mapped the distribution of the different palm cultivars in the five Al Jufrah oases.

The Agency for the development and improvement of date palms and olive trees is the project's Libyan implementing partner and plays a key role. The Agency, founded in 1988, has its main headquarters in Tripoli, but has branch offices throughout Libya. All necessary biological analyses are performed in its specialized laboratories, while field tests are carried out in greenhouses and land on its premises. Italian and Libyan experts in the field collaborate in studies on methods and practices, as well as on production potential, in a mutually enriching exchange of know-how, in order to ensure that water, energy and natural resources in general are used in the best way, with the ultimate goal of improving the living conditions of the rural population.

Researchers from Florence University

Within the framework of the project “Improvement and valorisation of date palms” in the Al Jufrah Oases in Libya, several Departments of Florence University's Agrarian Science Faculty are collaborating with the technicians from the Libyan Agency for the development and improvement of date palms, providing important scientific expert knowledge.
Researchers under the coordination of the Department of Agrarian Biotechnologies analyse and apply techniques for genetic identification and varietal improvement of date palms. Under the supervision of the Departments of Science of Plant Production, Soil Science and Agriculture and Forestry, the biological and productive characteristic features of the date varieties present in the selected oases are identified. And the Departments of Economics, Engineering, Agrarian and Forest Science and Technology, Agricultural and Forestry Engineering provide their expert advice on the drafting of proposals for the mechanization of washing, conservation and packaging processes.

Slow Food Foundation

The Foundation “Slow Food for Biodiversity”, a non-profit organization, has a wealth of experience in the promotion of traditional food products of the highest organoleptic quality.

The Foundation is also active in the economic enhancement and marketing promotion of Al Jufrah dates. Experts from the Foundation, working alongside the local producers, determine the quality parameters to be followed in selecting dates of the highest quality; they have also produced this publication and a documentary film on Libyan dates and on the oases; they organize the participation of the Libyan producers to events promoted by the Slow Food association.