Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood "Mother of the UAE" was chosen as the Person of the Year 2017 by the Khalifa International Award For Date Palm And Agricultural Innovation.
This was announced during a ceremony held on Monday at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. During the ceremony, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Chairman of the Award’s Board of Trustees, honoured the winners of the 9th edition of the award.
Sheikh Nahyan stressed that this selection was based on the leading role of H.H. Sheikha Fatima in the promotion of environment protection in the UAE and the world, and in continuing the achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in women’s empowerment and sustainable development.
The ceremony was attended by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; Jos? Graziano da Silva, Director-General of Food and Agriculture Organisation; Dr. Abdulmonem Al Banna, Egyptian Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation; Major General Alaa Abou Zeid, Governor of the Egyptian Governorate of Matrouh; and several senior officials, diplomatic corps representatives in the UAE, the award board of trustees, and people interested in palm trees and agricultural innovation.
In his speech, Sheikh Nahyan praised the efforts made by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in achieving sustainable development on all fronts. He also noted Sheikh Khalifa’s interest in palms and the agricultural innovation sector, which is a continuation of the attention given by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
He also expressed his appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his strong support to the award and his wise strategic vision for the future of sustainable development in the UAE, as well as for supporting the leadership and excellence of UAE citizens in all fields, especially palm agriculture, date production and agricultural innovation.
He thanked H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, for providing full support for this award, and for his directives that this award would become a beacon of sustainable giving and would lead the development of the date palm sector and agricultural work on national and regional levels.
Sheikh Nahyan declared the organisation of the 6th International Dates Palms conference in March 2018 in appreciation of the role of Sheikh Khalifa, and his support for scientific research through specialised institutions and for implementation of his directives to move to a better world.
The conference was organised under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa, under the umbrella of the Khalifa International Award For Date Palm And Agricultural Innovation, and in co-operation with relevant authorities in the UAE.
He also announced the launch of the Exceptional Farmer and Innovative Farmer Award in the UAE, under the umbrella of the Khalifa International Award For Date Palm And Agricultural Innovation, in co-operation with Al Foah Company, which targets citizen farmers who produce dates.
The award seeks to become a platform to encourage date palm farmers to strengthen the quality of UAE dates and train them for competitions on the international level. It also comes in appreciation of the farmers’ efforts, which contributed to strengthening sustainable development in the UAE.
Graziano praised the efforts of Sheikh Khalifa and the patron of this award His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on the international success of this award. He pointed out that it has become the biggest and most prestigious scientific award specialised in date palms and its industries, and is working now on encouraging all kinds of agricultural innovation.
Highlighting the generous patronage of Sheikh Mansour and the efforts of Sheikh Nahyan, he said that the UAE is in the forefront of the regional and international efforts to produce date palms in a sustainable way.