Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director-General, ADAFSA during his opening address at the awards ceremony at ADNEC Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: As many as 57 farmers from different emirates have been awarded in various categories of the second Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Agricultural Excellence Award, it was announced on Saturday.

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The Higher Organising Committee of the award, which has a total prize purse of Dh10 million, honoured the winners from among 328 participants.

The Committee will promote the winners’ agricultural practices with the aim of exchanging expertise on best agricultural practices that enhance agricultural sustainability and food security in the UAE.

Dr Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, honoured the winners during an award ceremony held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

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The ceremony was attended by Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Agricultural Club, Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), Dr Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, and Ali Mohammed Al Mansoori, Director-General of Al Dhafra Municipality, as well as a number of senior officials.

In a speech at the beginning of the ceremony, Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director-General of ADAFSA, said the prizes allocated to the winners have been expanded to D10 million, in addition to the inclusion of a new category in recognition of the best female farmer and breeder in the UAE, with the participation of 45 women.

Al Ameri added: “We at ADAFSA are proud of the role played by the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Agricultural Excellence Award in encouraging innovation and excellence in the agricultural sector at the UAE level, and we affirm our permanent commitment to supporting and enhancing these efforts.”

He continued: “We would also like to express our appreciation and thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, for his generous support and continuous sponsorship of this award and the agriculture sector in general.

first place Winners
Best farm for open agriculture: Khamis Matar Balraqeet Al Mansouri
Best farm for greenhouse cultivation: Faisal Salem Al Khuraibani Al Nuaimi
Best fruit production farm: Ali Salem Suleiman Al Dhanhani
Best organic farm: Hassan Juma Hassan Al Zaabi
Best productive animal farm: Saleh Abdul Rahim Abdullah Abdul Rahim Al Ali
Best farm in aquatics: Abdullah Mohammed Ali Al Mulla
Best Female Farmer Award in the Plant Section: Aisha Nasser Al Saadi
Best Female Animal Breeder Award: Raya Salem Ali Al Lamki
Small-holder producer: Yousef Obaid Saeed Al Zaabi
Best beekeeper: Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi
Plant agricultural innovation: Amina Abdul Wahed Hassan Al Rostamani
Innovation in animal production: Ghanim Sultan Ahmed Al Suwaidi
Commercial plant production farm: Emirates Organic Farm
Commercial animal production farm: Arab Poultry Company

“The wide participation in the award is a direct result of His Highness’ wise directives to develop the agricultural infrastructure, encourage innovation and use modern technologies, as these blessed efforts have resulted in the prosperity of the agricultural sector, increasing productivity and diversifying agricultural products.

“Through this Award, we seek to consolidate it as an incentive to achieve sustainable agricultural development and encourage innovation and excellence at the state level, stressing that the wide participation in the award constitutes a strong motivation to develop it to become the first global Award in the field of sustainability and agricultural innovation.”

How winners are selected

Dr Mariam Hareb Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Higher Committee of the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Agricultural Excellence Award and Deputy Director-General for Operational at ADAFSA, said the Organising Committee uses precise and objective criteria to evaluate entries, including sustainability, use of good agricultural practices and productivity.

This includes assessing the quantity and quality of agricultural and animal production, as well as the efficiency of the use of resources such as water, energy and fertilisers. It also takes into account innovation, social responsibility and the assessment of farmers’ and breeders’ commitment to environmental standards, as well as contribution to the country’s economic activities. She emphasised that these standards reflect the award’s commitment to promoting excellence in the UAE agricultural sector.