Abu Dhabi

The Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation that gives away Dh 5.25 million prizes annually has opened nominations for its 11th edition.

Date palm farmers, producers, researchers and academics across the world can apply for the award in various categories from June 1 to October 30, 2018, officials announced at a press conference at Emirates Palace on Monday.

The names of the winners shall be announced in February 2019 and the honouring ceremony will be held in March 2019.

The award under the patronage of Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, has witnessed steady growth.

Dr Abdulouahhab Zayed, Secretary General of the Award, said the number of entries in various categories of the Award has been increased during the past ten years.

Dr Helal Al Kaabi, member of the Award Board of Trustees, said the award received 1,179 entries from 48 nations and 61 of them won the accolades.

Of the 1,026 entries from 20 Arab nations, 35 of them won the awards. Ninety-three candidates from the UAE competed in the award and 18 of them were successful.

Dr Helal added that the highest number of entries from the Arab world was from Egypt [230], followed by Saudi Arabia [ 131], Iraq [128], and Algeria [ 110], while the UAE [93] ranked fifth among them during the past ten years. At the global level, India has the highest participation rate with 35 entries, followed by the US [16] and Pakistan [13].

Musallam Obaid Ba Al Khales Al Ameri , CEO of Al-Foah company, appreciated the participation of the UAE farmers in the first edition of the most Distinguished and Innovative Farmer Award last year.

The winners were well-deserved as they excelled in the date production with highest standards of safety, cleanliness, and environmental protection, he said.