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Announcing the winners of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation 2018

H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, expressed his appreciation of superior patronage the Award has received by the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE (may Allah protect him), the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the appreciation of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The Award has been thereby prompted to go ahead towards assuming a leading position at both Arab and international levels and to contribute to promotion of the UAE role in serving the date palm blessed tree and agricultural innovation around the world.

A press conference held by Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary General of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, yesterday, Sunday February 18th 2018 at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi to announce the names of the winners of the Award’s 10th session, in the presence of Dr. Helal Hamid Saed Al Kaabi , Member of the Board of Trustees and Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, members of the Scientific Jury of the Award, Mr. Musallam Obaid Al Khalis Al Ameri, CEO of Al Foah Company, Dr. Asmahan Al Wafi, Director General of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture. We are proud of the prominent level that the Award has reached in its 10th session thanks to the great confidence and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, Abdelouahhab said.

Winners

The Secretary General of the Award added that the winners of the 10th session have been selected according to the applicable criteria and mechanisms for granting the Award, the report of the Scientific Jury, and the Evaluation Committee assessment of the participating works and approval of H.H. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and President of the Board of Trustees of the Award, as follows:

 

Category: Distinguished Innovative Studies and Modern Technology

  1. The Discovery of Wild Date Palms in Oman, Reveals a Complex Domestication History, Involving Centers in the Middle East and Africa.
  • The Search submitted by Dr. Muriel Gros-Balthazard: Assistant Professor  Institute of Evolution Sciences / University of Montpellier / France.

 

Category: Pioneering Development and Productive Projects

  1. Mr. Mohammed Suhail Al Mazrouei:
  • CEO Liwa Dates Factory for Food Industries / UAE.

 

Category: Pioneering and Sophisticated Innovations Serving the Agricultural Sector (Equally Between):

  1. Dr. Luigi Porcella: Future Innovation Right Solutions Technologies
  • Innovation ELECTRAP / Italy.

 

  1. THE PLATFORM
  • Utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things technologies for early detection of Red Palm Weevil in date Palm Tree farms / UAE.

 

Category: Influential Figure in the Field of Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation

  1. Prof. Abdallah Ben Abdallah / Tunis

 

Winners of the Distinguished Innovative Studies and Modern Technology Category and Pioneering Development and Productive Projects Category get a prize of (AED 1 Million) plus a trophy and appreciation certificate each, whereas winners of the Pioneering and Sophisticated Innovations Serving the Agricultural Sector, and Influential Figure in the Field of Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation categories get a prize of (AED 750,000.00) plus a trophy and appreciation certificate each. The prizes would be presented during the honoring ceremony held Monday, March 19th 2018, at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

 

 

 

A qualitative leap and great strides

The Secretary General added that the Award has made great strides since its inception with the blessing of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (may Allah protect him) and has been honored by bearing the name of His Highness, a fact that throws on our shoulders the great responsibility of setting out towards broader horizons to achieve pioneering as the first specialized award worldwide.

He also stressed that the Award’s great success and qualitative leap were thanks to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; the continuous support of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; and the follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Award, who has been keen to develop the Award in each session towards achieving leadership and proceeding forward towards new horizons.

 

Top researchers and experts

The Secretary General then added that the award has attracted the top researchers, experts, farmers and those interested in the date palm sector at the Arab and international levels to participate in the Award and compete for its categories, The Award achieved a remarkable shift for the development of date palm trees and related studies and was expanded a year ago to include agricultural innovation; and reinforce its position worldwide. He also praised the role of all types of media as partners in excellence and success.

 

The Secretary General of the Award congratulated the winners of all Award’s categories, stressing that the winners of the various categories are added value that contributes to the development of date palm and agricultural innovation sector in the world. He expressed his hope that the Award would receive more participation to help this sector and promote it at all levels.

 

 

 

 

UAE Distinguished Farmer Award

On his part, Dr. Helal Humaid Al-Kaabi, member of the Board of Trustees of the Award, announced the winners of the Distinguished Farmer Award for date palm farmers in the UAE organized by the General Secretariat of the Award in cooperation with Al Foah Company. The results were as follows:

 

Category of large farms

  1. 1st winner Mr. Rashed Saeed Al-Eriani
  2. 1st winner (duplicate): Mr. Said Hamouda Al-Eriani

 

  1. 2nd winner: Mr. Hamid Saeed Al-Eriani
  2. 2nd winner (duplicate): Ms. Mira Khalfan Al-Nuaimi

 

Mr. Musallam Obaid, CEO of Al Foah, pointed to the importance of the Distinguished Farmer Award in supporting and motivating the UAE farmers to develop agricultural services, improve UAE dates and enhance competitiveness at the local and international levels. He praised the winners who are distinguished in cultivating date palm and producing dates in the UAE.

 

Continuing development of the award

Dr. Helal Humaid Saed Al Kaabi, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Award, Chairman of the Administrative and Financial Committee, said that anyone who tracks the award since its inception, would note that its activity was characterized by steady growth and remarkable success it achieved over ten years full of achievements and gains. The Award was qualitative addition to the date palm sector and agricultural innovation. It has made great strides in the field of research and study and has worked to develop and improve the production and the development of new means of marketing, care and treatment. He stressed that the great attention and special patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, has had a significant impact on the development of the Award and its access to universality and achievement of this prestigious position.

He also added that this session was characterized by a set of key points, most notably is that the number of applicants has reached 169 candidates representing 25 countries around the world. UAE nationals’ participation was mainly in the category of development projects, research and studies and agricultural innovation. The qualitative participation in the number of applicants to the various categories of the Award consisted a positive indicator. The distinguished researchers and studies have, as usual, recorded the highest participation rate with 79 participants, knowing that the methodology of the Secretariat of the Award in sorting out and assessing the participating work has been characterized with prominent level of transparency and complete impartiality.

 

Dr. Al Kaabi also reviewed the achievements of the General Secretariat during the past year as follows:

 

  1. Increase of the national participation and encouragement of national date palm farmers in the UAE to participate in the Award.
  2. Organization of the third session of the Egyptian Dates Festival 2017, and preparations are underway to launch the fourth edition of the festival in November 2018.
  3. Organization of the first edition of the Sudanese Dates Festival 2017, and preparations are under way to launch the second edition of the festival in December 2018.
  4. Preparation, operation and delivery of the Siwa Dates Factory with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
  5. The launch of the 9th International Photography Competition "Date Palm in World’s Eye" 2018.
  6. The launch of the second "Date Palm Poetry Competition" 2018.
  7. The General Secretariat of the Award participated in a number of international exhibitions and conferences related to date palms and agricultural innovation that included Sudan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
  8. Issuance of the ninth volume that includes three issues of the blessed tree magazine and issuance of two issues of the Award’s news bulletin.
  9. The Award organized a media and advertising campaign covering various media, advertising means and specialized websites as well as social media. The number of followers of the Award on Facebook exceeded 55,391. A Facebook page of the poetry competition "Date Palm Poetry Competition“ was launched whose number of followers exceeded 7,250. In addition, a Facebook page of the "Date Palm in World’s Eye" competition was launched with more than 3,718 photographers worldwide as followers.