Iraq is one of the countries that were in the first rank for the production of the finest types of dates, but the cultivation of palm is regressing day after the other, until that Iraq has become one of the latest countries in the number of palm trees, as the lands devoted for palm cultivation has become residential, agricultural or industrial areas. And the province of Karbala is known by the cultivation of palms and is one of the dates' producing provinces, but recently its production has regressed for several reasons, most notably converting agricultural areas into residential areas as a result of the housing crisis. And because of all these factors, the Al-Abbas's (p) Holy shrine has proceeded within its strategic plans to preserve this wealth from extinction to establish a model far of rare palm varieties, investing the vast desert spaces and converting them into green spaces. In compliance with the Hadith “The land is for he who revive it.”
The project is complementing the other project; Saqi project for alternative waters to Euphrates River water, which includes drilling artesian wells as a solution of water crisis by taking advantage of groundwater that have proved its success in laboratory tests for watering crops including palms. And thus, the Al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine puts its first brick for the establishment of this project, which was inaugurated by its High Responsible; his eminence Sayed Ahmed Al-Safi by planting the first sprout.
The first phase of the project will be held on an areas of 25 Dunums (2.5 hectare) western the province of Karbala, about 40 KMs away from the city center, and in which rare palm trees will be cultivated with abundant dates' production. This project aims to:
First: Investing the desert agricultural lands and the development of the agricultural situation in Karbala.
Second: These farms will act as natural windbreaks and dust storms.
Third: An opportunity for the workforce to care for these farms.
Fourth: The contribution in supplying the local market with good and rare qualities of dates.
Fifth: The employment of the agricultural potential and experiences and put them in the right field.
Sixth: Taking advantage of the surplus from the artesian wells water.
Seventh: The possibility of cultivation of other citrus trees.
Eighth: The introduction of modern techniques and mechanisms in the palm cultivation through local and international expertise.
Ninth: Making this farm a source of proliferation of rare palm species.
The preparatory work of the project included:
1- Ascertaining if the soil is suitable for the agriculture by taking soil samples from multiple locations to know its salinity and suitability.
2- Determining the area to be planted within the first phase of the project.
3- Settling the soil and determining where the palm seedlings will be planted.
4- Preparing where the seedlings will be planted in form of straight lines.
5- Providing the project with an integrated network of drip irrigation systems.
It is to note that the acquisition of the project's land has been done in accordance with the laws in force in the Iraqi state, using in the cultivation the quartet method that is characterized by the easy implementation and the possibility to provide the necessary services to the seedlings and palms in the future. In addition to the possibility of the introduction of machines and special equipment that will plant each seedling in each corner of the square, so that all four sides of the square are equal to make the same distance between the trees.