16th January 2011. Visit of His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture Dr. Ismail Deiq

The Biotechnology Research Center in the Palestine Polytechnic University received his Excellency Minister of Agriculture Dr Ismail Deiq as head of a sizeable delegation of dignitaries. The delegation  was received by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Palestine Polytechnic University, Mr. Ahmed Said  Tamimi, the members of the Council, the President of Palestine Polytechnic University, Dr. Ibrahim al-Masri and his deputies, along with a number of university staff as well as the Director of the Center of Biotechnology, and the researchers at the Centre.
The Director of the Centre of Biotechnology, Dr. Yaqoub Ashhab, welcomed attendees and spoke about the Centre and its activities and research activities in addition to aspirations for the future, and he transferred the Centre’s request to the minister to pursue research projects submitted by the Centre to the Ministry.
The researcher Dr. Rami Arafah spoke about some of the research he has carried out, and reviewed in particular the seed bank project, which has arisen from the need to compile and document the DNA of many plants of local and medical importance. He also spoke about the effort of increasing plant tissue culture research for propagation of specialized plants and trees such as Pistacia, hawthorn, maple, explaining that he would publish his latest research on these plants during the coming period.
Researcher, Dr. Fawzi Razem spoke about the projects undertaken by the Centre such as protein purification and production of a (Taq) enzyme, as well as a project to produce the cloning enzyme (T4 Ligase). Researcher, Dr. Robin Abu-Ghazaleh also spoke about the efforts undertaken by the Centre to study the viruses that infect livestock in the Palestinian territories.
The Minister and the accompanying delegation toured the Centre laboratories, where he was briefed on the projects carried out by researchers, expressing his admiration for the efforts made, the Minister gave his directives to the delegation of the ministry to collaborate with the Centre to the preparation of a plan for a partnership that is delivered as a basis for a memorandum of understanding between the Centre and the ministry that addressing the following topics:
1. Work to reduce death rates from the livestock sector and the newborn from infectious diseases that afflict and cause heavy losses to farmers.
2. The development of tests to diagnose the locally relevant viral diseases that affect crops in order to reduce lost production and obviate the need for excess imports from abroad that reflects negatively on Palestine’s balance of trade.
3. Centre's contribution to the draft Greening of Palestine and the seed released by the Ministry of Agriculture, through supplying the ministry with plants of some species of wild trees such as maple, hawthorn etc, which reached the extent of threatening Balannagard due to many factors, most notably the course of settlement in mountainous regions.
The Minister concluded his visit to the center by expressing his pleasure at activities carried out by researchers and also confirmed the commitment of the government to support development projects and development in the Palestinian territories.