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One of the areas of excellence of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is to provide information covering aspects related to its mandate areas. FAO is well known for the quality and quantity of information provided to member countries and will continue to maintain its comparative advantage on disseminating information related to food and agriculture.

This has been the case of information on date palm. As mentioned in the Foreword, the present publication updates and complements technical information included in two earlier FAO books on date palms: "Dates Handling, Processing and Packaging" (1962), and "Date Production and Protection"(1982).

This book updates the existing information on aspects related to date palm production, protection and a number of technologies available for the implementation of a modern date palm industry. It covers a wide array of topics of interest for a diverse clientele formed by researchers, extensionists, farmers and agro-industrialists from all areas of the world where the date industry is already established or where it has the potential to be implemented.

The Crop and Grassland Service (AGPC) of FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division is convinced that this publication is one more important contribution for food production and income generation by different types of farmers, especially those living in the less developed areas of the world. The Service acknowledges the contributions provided by the authors and the invaluable work of its Editor, Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, and its Coordinator, Mr. Enrique Arias.

Marcio C. M. Porto
Crop and Grassland Service
Plant Production and Protection Division

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