Vol. 115 No. 1 (2021)
Research Papers

Mechanically assisted harvesting of dry and semi-dry dates of average to low quality

Francesco Garbati Pegna
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, Italy
Bio
Ahmed Nourani
Scientific and Technical Research Center on Arid Regions (CRSTRA), Biskra, Algeria
Angelo Romano
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, Italy
Published June 29, 2021
How to Cite
Garbati Pegna, F., Nourani, A., & Romano, A. (2021). Mechanically assisted harvesting of dry and semi-dry dates of average to low quality. Journal of Agriculture and Environment for International Development (JAEID), 115(1), 85-96. https://doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20211.1436

Abstract

A large number of date palms in the world produce average to low quality dates that are used for processing into derivate or as animal feed and constitute an important source of sugar and energy; most of these dates are of the dry or semidry kind, so they can bear the shock of being harvested by shaking and dropping on the ground without losing their value. In order to evaluate the possibility of using hand carried electromechanical harvesters, of the type used for harvesting olives and other fruits, for collecting dates of Mech Degla and Deglet Noor varieties, preliminary field tests have been carried out at Biskra, in Algeria, with the use of two models of Italian olive harvesters, that were able to detach all fruits from a single bunch in a time ranging from 30 to 88 s, with a productivity in the range of 22.8 - 36.4 kg*min-1. These results are encouraging and allow for further investigation, even with a more complex experimental design, including adaptation of the equipment to the specific context.