ABU DHABI, 14th March, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, has been named the “Personality of the Year” 2023 by the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIDPAI), in recognition of his influential role in supporting the UAE’s successful agricultural development and date palm cultivation.
He received the award at the ceremony of the KIDPAI in its 15th edition, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation.
The event was also attended by Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Bahrain, who received the award on behalf of Sheikh Hamdan; Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs; Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment; Major General Khaled Shuaib, Governor of Matrouh in Egypt; Dr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Former Director of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Director of the Institute for the Total Eradication of Hunger; and Dr. Abdel Karim Al Waer, Assistant Director-General of the FAO and Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa (FAO-RNE), as well as various diplomats, members of the award’s board of trustees, winners and honourees, and specialists and enthusiasts in palm cultivation, date production and agricultural innovation.
Sheikh Nahyan honoured Sheikh Hamdan and several national and international figures who served and helped advance palm cultivation and date production, who are Al Bowardi, Dr. da Silva, Saeed Sultan Salmeen bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, Special Affairs Advisor at the Ruler Representative in Al Ain Region’s Court, Major General Shuaib, and Saud bin Abdul Karim Al Fada, Director-General of the Endowments Department of Saleh bin Abdulaziz Al Rajhi in Saudi Arabia.
In his speech at the event, Sheikh Nahyan expressed his appreciation for President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has always stressed the importance of making the country a role model in driving scientific development, including palm cultivation and date production.
He also honoured the winners of the 15th edition of the award in 2023 and announced the launched of the first international conference for date production and trade, organised by the award’s secretariat-general, in cooperation with the Horticultural Export Improvement Association (HEIA) in Egypt, which will continue until 15th March, 2023.
Sheikh Nahyan also attended the signing of four Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with several agriculture ministers and directors of international organisations from several countries to enhance the cooperation between the award’s secretariat-general and regional and international organisations, which will assist the development of palm cultivation, date production and agricultural innovation locally, regionally and internationally.
The MoUs were signed with the Ministry of Agriculture of Mauritania on the organisation of the first International Festival of Mauritanian Dates 2022; the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences China and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on the sustainable development of date palm cultivation; the International Institute for the Total Eradication of Hunger on achieving food security and development; and the International Dates Council of Saudi Arabia regarding the cooperation between the two institutions to develop the palm cultivation sector and increase date production.
Sheikh Nahyan also attended the launch of the book, titled “Durrat al-Tomoor” in the Spanish language, along with by Luis Alfonso García de Alba, Ambassador of Mexico to the UAE, as well as the launch of the Arabic and English versions of a climate map book covering the most important varieties of dates cultivated in the Egypt, in the presence of Abdul Hamid Demerdash, Chairman of the Export Council for Agricultural Crops in Egypt, and Sherif Eissa, Ambassador of Egypt to the UAE.