UAE: Over Dh3 million prize money announced for winners of Abu Dhabi date palm award

The jury looked out for innovations specifically for arid, desert regions that can be applied in the Emirates and Middle East in general

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Mon 20 Feb 2023, 6:47 PM

A total prize of Dh3.25 million will be distributed among this year’s winners of the Abu Dhabi date palm award that focuses on agricultural innovation, according to officials.

Organisers of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation 2023 on Monday announced the six winners in the four categories at a press conference held in Abu Dhabi. The winners were selected in accordance with the international standards and mechanisms followed in granting the award.

The Al Ain City Municipality was awarded the Pioneering Development and Productive Projects category for their Date Palm in Al Ain Oasis project.

The Distinguished Innovative Studies and Modern Technology category was equally awarded to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology & Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Date Palm Research Center, Al Ahsa / KSA for their project on early detection of red palm weevil using distributed optical sensor, and Dr. Synan Abuqamar from UAE University in cooperation with ADAFSA, KCGEB & Murdoch University in Australia for their project: Aminocyclopropane, carboxylic acid deaminase-producing Streptomyces Violaceoruber, UAE can provide protection from sudden decline syndrome on date palm.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

In the third category, which is the Pioneering and Sophisticated Innovations Serving the Agricultural Sector, the award has been given to Dr. Lai Kok Song from Higher Colleges of Technology in UAE for the project: From Waste to Wealth.

The Influential Figure in the Field of Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation category award will be shared between Prof. Samir H. Al Shakir, PhD from Iraq and Prof. Ricardo Salomón Torres, PhD from Mexico

While choosing the winners, the jury looked out for innovations specifically for arid, desert regions that can be applied in the UAE and Middle East in general.

Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary General of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation said since its inception 15 years ago, the award has boosted date palm farming and production in the UAE taking the country among the top five date producers in the country to date.

He noted that the award is the first of its kind in the world.

169 scientists representing 26 countries have participated in the Award’s 15th session. The winners will receive their prizes at the event scheduled for March 14 at Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental in Abu Dhabi.

UAE local award winners

Dr Helal Humaid Saed Al Kaabi, Member of the Award’s Board of Trustees, pointed out that the Distinguished and Innovative Farmer Award in the UAE, organized by the Award’s General Secretariat in cooperation with Al Foah company, has attracted during its fifth session a group of local distinguished farm owners, with a total of 125 date growers, who produce the best and finest date palm varieties in the UAE. The competition concentrated on five categories, where the winners were selected according to the approved criteria and mechanisms.

Mohammed Ghanem Al Mansouri, representative of Al Foah Company also highlighted the great efforts put by the Award’s General Secretariat, in supervising and organizing the Distinguished and Innovative Farmer Award in the UAE. “This Award reflects the great attention extended by our wise leadership, towards date palm growers in the UAE,” he said. “Al Foah company also strives to serve date palm growers in the UAE, in cooperation with the Award’s General Secretariat, which aims to honor the distinguished and innovative farmers in the UAE to find a role model among date palm growers, and transfer their distinguished experiences to others.”

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