Gulf Today Coverage of SIAL and Date Palm Festival
Gulf Today Coverage of SIAL and Date Palm Festival
11/28/2010 12:00 AM

  SIAL Middle East concludes on high note 

BY OUR BUSINESS BUREAU  November 27, 2010

 ABU DHABI: SIAL Middle East 2010, the just concluded first Middle East edition of the world�s largest food industry exhibition, held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre recently, resulted in trade deals to the tune of well over Dhs918 million ($250 million).

According to the Organising Committee of SIAL, 7000 visitors, 30 per cent of them from abroad, visited the fair. The visitors from abroad - drawn from a host of countries in the region and beyond - included businessmen, industrialists and experts in the food industry.

Around 400 exhibitors from more than 40 countries participated in the exhibition, with 80 per cent of them presenting their products in the region for the first time. Using Abu Dhabi�s stature as a major trade centre for a vantage point, they plan to reach out to the rest of the region with their products.

The multitude of trade deals signed during the event between various companies that exhibited their products at the fair and food distributors in the region went far beyond the expectations of the organisers in view of the fact that it was first time SIAL was held in the region.

Of the total deals struck during the event, actual final trade agreements between companies amounted to Dhs183.5 million ($50 million) while the various memorandam of understanding are valued at over Dhs734 million (around $200 million). All the MoUs, the organisers said, will graduate to actual trade agreements in the next three months.

Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), said the success of SIAL was primarily due to the enormous support it received from the Government of Abu Dhabi, especially from General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and ADFCA Chairman. �The GCC Ministerial Forum on Integrated Food Policies, held on the sidelines of SIAL, also played a large role in turning the event into a great success,

The pre-eminent position of Abu Dhabi as a commercial hub with enormous purchasing power and the vital importance of food security for the whole Gulf region also are factors that clinched this success� he pointed out.


New system to identify radiation-treated food 

 November 25, 2010 

 ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) announced on Wednesday that it is currently considering creating a programme to identify food treated with radiation, thus becoming the first authority in the country and one of the few in the Middle East to introduce such a system.

This was disclosed by Dr. Mariam Hareb Sultan Al-Yousuf, Executive Director Of Policy and Regulation Sector at ADFCA while  opening the Radiation Day workshop held by ADFCA on the sidelines of SIAL Middle East at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Participating in the workshop, eminent international experts on radiation in food and agriculture argued in unison that the application of nuclear techniques would help in the enhancement of food safety and security in many ways.

The application of nuclear techniques offers effective solutions to many insurmountable obstacles to food security and helps deal better with the issue of declining agricultural productivity around the world.

The nuclear technologies and bio-technologies that are being developed currently can - when integrated with more conventional methods - trigger a second green revolution that is much more eco-friendly than the first, claimed David H. Byron, Head of the Food and Environmental Protection Section of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.

Byron said that nuclear techniques contribute significantly to reducing insecticide use and agricultural losses and facilitates agricultural trade through the eradication of major pests in crops animals.

�The growth of agricultural productivity been falling steadily from 2.9 % in the 1960s, and is projected to continue falling to 0.4 % in the 2040s. This is far too low to meet the continuing population growth.�


Date Festival to host new countries for the first time 

By Mohan Vadayar  November 24, 2010

 OMAN, Iraq, Jordan and Morocco hosted national pavilions for the first time at the festival, giving visitors a glimpse of their culture and heritage and an exotic selection of date fruits.

Iraq boasts over 900 varieties of organic dates, the UAE also displayed the same number of types of dates which, together with Oman and Saudi Arabia in the GCC, produce the lion�s share of the most �blessed fruit� in the world.


Other countries, were also showcasing produce of the date palm �The Blessed Tree� at The Fourth International Date Palm Festival, being held at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre for a week from Monday.

The �Blessed Tree� connotation was derived by India�s Atul Limited, a significant contributor to date palm development in India, especially in the vast deserts of Gujrat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, who was also present at the exhibition.

Director of the Festival, Qaboos Khalid, participated with an exhibited 60 types of special, fleshy, sweet, long-lasting varieties selected from various farms in Dubai. Date fruits as varied as Khalas, Khastawi, Khalti, Mejhoul, Dayiri and many more were displayed.

�This is our first attempt in the capital. So far we exhibtited only in Al Alain. Now, our aim is to promote this festival as a global event, the biggest in the world. You know even our own people do not know that there are many varieties of dates in the world,� said Khalid.

�We have around 30 pavilions for Saudi dates, which is one of the most favoured in the world. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman constitute more than half of the total date production. So we have a success story,� he said.

As with all sectors, the agricultural sector itself is not immune to problems.   Dr Mohammad Al Gali of Al Ain Municipality said �We currently face a lot of attacks from pests in date palms.�

�However,the municipality is doing everything it can to protect the wadi culture of date palms in the emirate. The attack of red weevil and other insects have been successfully contained and received more than 86 per cent customer satisfaction in Al Ain area,� he claimed.

�We have now succeeded in finding and destroying the weevil genetically or as early as possible before the tree starts yielding� added Dr. Gali.

The UAE University�s Date Palm Development Research Unit is one of the world�s largest research units. This research unit plays a large role in the exhibition, available to provide any support needed. It is also the main supporter of date plantations in the country.

Hall No. 11 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre has been transformed into a desert paradise with over 100 exhibitors occupying over 5600 square meters of space.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority; the festival is organised by Turret Media in collaboration with the UAE University, Khalifa International Date Palm Award,  Date Palm Friends Society and Date Palm Global Network.

It is held in association with key strategic partner Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and is supported by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.
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  • Last Updated On: Nov 28, 2010