Agricultural innovation in the service of food security in the UAE

Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, hosts
Mr. Hamed Ahmed Al Hamed, Founder of Gracia Agricultural Group, in the UAE, by organizing a virtual lecture on
With the attendance of 117 experts and specialists, and representing 18 countries.

Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation’s General Secretariat, organized a virtual lecture on “Agricultural innovation in the service of food security”, presented by Mr. Hamed Ahmed Al Hamed, Founder of Gracia Agricultural Group, in the United Arab Emirates, on Monday 27th of September, 2021, with the attendance of 117 experts and specialists representing 18 countries. Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Award’s Secretary General, noted that this virtual lecture comes under the directives of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Chairman of the Award’s Board of Trustees, and within the Award’s framework and commitment to spread the scientific knowledge and awareness specialized in date palm cultivation and agricultural innovation.

From his side, Mr. Hamed Al Hamed started the lecture by highlighting the fact that his success story was an inspiration from the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, “May God bless his soul”, who instilled in us the love of the land and the strong belief that the impossible is possible in cultivation and turning the desert into a green paradise. We learnt to challenge the impossible, and to spread greenery, where we are inspired by His Highness’ famous word, “Give me agriculture, I will give you civilization”. The lecturer launched an integrated project that includes livestock and agricultural farms, using effective techniques, such as water farming, organic farming, and traditional agriculture, as well as a food production facility. Mr. Al Hamed, then expanded his project to include a center for agricultural technology and innovation, where he developed greenhouses using latest technologies, as well as a training center targeting individuals and students, to train them on the latest agricultural systems.

Mr. Al Hamed then presented, that Gracia has worked from the beginning to confront agricultural challenges, and in accordance with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who provided infrastructure and encouraged Emiratis to invest in Agricultural innovation, “Gracia” created the first model for the so-called comprehensive farm, as a model that follows the concepts of agricultural investment in all its corners, and has several achievements that benefited farmers. This all was achieved following modern global practices, taking into consideration the special nature of our region, and following as well set strategic plans that enhances concepts of organizational excellence, which in return helped the farm achieve high revenues, and it became a source of solutions to the faced challenges.

Mr. Al Hamed also focused during his lecture, that he aimed to employ innovation in the service of food security, as innovation today is what distinguishes a company. The lecturer’s goal was to create a system that solves the agricultural problems, added Mr. Al Hamed. As the consumer can now find all his agricultural needs in one place, where such work was aiming at changing the concept of the traditional farm, which mainly produced vegetables only, by spreading the concept of the important role of farms and its impact on our lives and its economic, environmental, societal and educational impact. Gracia group aimed towards reaching its goals in the shortest way, and at the lowest costs. The lecturer worked on adapting and investing in new technologies.

Mr. Hamed Al Hamed, then concluded the lecture by highlighting the great role played by the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation in supporting and developing the date palm cultivation sector and the date production, through the organizing of Jordan International Date Palm Festival, Sudan International Date Palm Festival, and Egypt International Date Palm Festival and the accompanying activities and events. Which actively contributed to the increase of the reputation of the Arab dates and the volume of exports, in addition to the series of international conferences organized by the Award’s General Secretariat.

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