Abu Dhabi: The Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Agricultural Excellence Award stands as an innovative promotional and marketing platform dedicated to supporting local producers.
Aligned with the award's objectives of encouraging agricultural sectors, it aims to support outstanding farmers and livestock breeders while emphasising their crucial role in advancing agricultural sustainability and ensuring food security.
The award hosts nine diverse festivals at its pavilion during the Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba, drawing active participation from local farmers and a diverse audience.
The ongoing Al Wathba Honey Festival, which commenced on January 26 and runs until February 8, brings together over 60 beekeepers and specialised companies, providing them with a platform to showcase their products and spotlight the initiatives and innovations of Emirati beekeepers.
The Local Aquaculture Products Festival (Our Aquatic Farms Fish / Desert Fish), Fig Festival, Strawberry Festival, Sidr Fruit Festival,Traditional Foods for Productive Families Festival, Agricultural Production Inputs Festival, Factory Processed Agri-Food and Dairy Products Festival, and Maize and Potato Festival.
The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFS) is committed to sustaining the beekeeping sector and honey production.
This includes the production of queens of the Emirati honey bee breed within the project's activities to develop and improve honey bee breeds in the country.
The Emirati honey bee breed stands out for its ability to withstand the country's conditions during the summer, produce high-quality honey, and tolerate infection with the Varroa parasite.
Up until the end of 2023, eight generations of this breed were produced, totalling approximately 13,000 queens. About 11,000 queens were distributed to beekeepers in the country to support the sustainability of their projects. Preparations are underway to breed the ninth generation in 2024, with 5,300 queens.
Speaking to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), participating Emirati producers and beekeepers at the Al Wathba Honey Festival highlight the uniqueness of the "Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Agricultural Excellence Award" in organising a specialised honey festival.
The award serves as an ideal marketing platform for Emirati honey, renowned globally for its high quality and diverse products.
The Al Wathba Honey Festival aims to bolster beekeepers and local honey producers, fostering skill development and providing opportunities to explore the latest innovations and modern techniques in beekeeping and honey production.
It also focuses on marketing the products of Emirati beekeepers and educating the public about the benefits and unique characteristics of Emirati honey.
The festival includes workshops, seminars on bee-related topics and live shows related to beekeeping and honey production in the UAE, aiming to promote this vital sector and encourage community members to work and invest in this field.
Beekeeping and honey production are integral aspects of sustainable agricultural development that support the UAE's food security system, in addition to the environmental importance of beekeeping in contributing to the pollination process associated with the reproduction of plants and trees.
The Festival features six competitions for beekeepers and local honey producers to encourage competition and enhance the already high quality of Emirati honey products.
The categories include the best Sidr liquid honey, the best Samar liquid honey, the best crystallised honey, the best Sidr honeycomb and the best Sidr honeycomb for wild bees.
The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (ADQCC), in collaboration with ADAFSA, participates in the evaluation of the competitions.
ADQCC will provide laboratory testing services for honey samples submitted by local producers to verify the quality of honey and assist the jury in selecting high-quality honey.
Al Wathba Honey Festival stands out as a prominent event accompanying the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Agricultural Excellence Award, comprising the nine diverse festivals.
These include the Local Aquaculture Products Festival (Our Aquatic Farms Fish / Desert Fish), Fig Festival, Strawberry Festival, Sidr Fruit Festival,Traditional Foods for Productive Families Festival, Agricultural Production Inputs Festival, Factory Processed Agri-Food and Dairy Products Festival, and Maize and Potato Festival.