Despite the symbolism of palm trees in Libya’s Ghadames town, the high nutritional value of dates, this national wealth is suffering from severe neglect, poor irrigation and the lack of interest in harvesting the fruit.
Due to the lack of date pickers, most of whom are foreign workers, 218 cameras noticed the accumulation of dates in palm trees without harvesting them for years, which weakens the palms and reduces the quality of their dates.
The neglect of palm trees in Ghadames comes as a result of the scarcity of foreign labor in Libya and the tendency of young people to have other jobs rather than agriculture.
Neglecting the palms for years nay lead to them falling m at anytime, which endangers residents and their properties. The neglect also contributes to drying palm leaves, which facilitates fires.
It is worth noting that the number of palms inside and around Ghadames, which is estimated nearly at 220 hectares), amounts to 20,000 palm trees.
Observers and activists call on the authorities for more agricultural courses and bringing modern equipment to harvest dates. They urge the preservation of an important resource that contributes to families’ income.