Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women, also head of the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD) officially opened the ninth Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS). The event is being held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa until the 2nd of March, 2013. HRH Princess Sabeeka affirmed on the importance of investing in the agricultural field in the Kingdom of Bahrain due to the available potential in such field which promises high return on investment and bring benefit to the kingdom of Bahrain including achieving self sufficiency. She underscored the need to use modern technologies in agriculture, adding that care and attention for the Agriculture field is given high priority within the future plans of the countries of the world. She went on to say that the issue of securing food is very important and should not be delayed due to the increase of agricultural produce. She highlighted the importance of promoting investment opportunities in the field of agriculture and to enhance the Public-Private sector investment in such sector. HRH voiced satisfaction in the level of investment pursued by the national Bahraini Companies in the field of agriculture ad expressed hope to see more companies invest in such direction in order to support agriculture in Bahrain. Princess Sabeeka highlighted that the Bahrain International garden Show has become a well-known one - listed on the International Map of Shows exhibition specializing in the Agriculture Field. This she said reflects the status the Bahrain garden show enjoys. Princess Sabeeka expressed thanks and appreciation to the bodies and establishments that responded to the exhibition and took part in it through exhibiting their innovations and modern method in the field of garden and landscapes. She also expressed thanks to the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella for attending the opening ceremony and for his support through participating in the event. HRH Princess Sabeeka toured the exhibition including the main part of the exhibition, being held this year under the slogan “Investment in Agriculture”. She also distributed awards to winners of the Bahrain Garden Club and the Ministry of Education Competition. BIGS, which is considered one of the most important shows held in the Kingdom of Bahrain, highlights unique and successful experiments that reflect the value of local and foreign participations in agriculture and landscaping and attention to greenery. The event has become an important forum on the annual agenda for those interested in agriculture This year’s Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS) carries an important message to the business community: Bahrain’s agriculture sector is ripe for investment. The show aims to highlight the many business opportunities that exist in agriculture and the economic return from it and the high yield on this type of investments to achieve economic growth in the sector, once one of Bahrain’s most vital, and bring back to the forefront and increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product. It also aims at reducing the food gap and ensuring food security in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The organizing committee of the event has invited the public to participate in it starting from Thursday to benefit from the leading national, regional and international experiences which will be exhibited in agriculture, horticulture, landscaping and garden design. This year’s show will occupy a total exhibition area of 7,050 square meters, and it is expected to attract more than 120 exhibitors from the Kingdom of Bahrain, Japan, China, Australia, France and Slovakia, in addition to a group of countries participating as part of the stand of the United Nations Development Programme (UNIDO), which include Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Italy. Hall I will be allocated for companies and establishments doing business in garden-related fields, including plants, tools, equipment, accessories and services, such as flower shops and nurseries, agricultural tools and equipment shops, garden equipment, lighting, seeds and fertilizers, etc. At the same time, Hall 2 will showcase a variety of innovative goods and services relating to gardening, and landscaping. The event will be an opportunity for participants from the public and private organizations to contribute to the development of the agricultural sector and support the occupation of garden design and landscaping, and enhance awareness and education among the public through their exhibits. It should be noted that BIGS is considered an opportunity to internationally showcase and locally promote the objectives and outputs of the NIAD, launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa in March 2010. It comes as part of Her Royal Highness’ interest in, and concern for, uniting national efforts and creating synergies among them to support sustainable agricultural development in all its economic, social and environmental aspects and in line with Economic Vision 2030. BIGS, which is considered one of the most important shows held in the Kingdom of Bahrain, highlights unique and successful experiments that reflect the value of local and foreign participations in agriculture and landscaping and attention to greenery. The event has become an important forum on the annual agenda for those interested in agriculture. BIGS…A Tourist Showcase for Green Bahrain BIGS is patronized by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and with the support of the King’s Wife Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Chairwoman of the Supreme Council of Women and President of the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD). Her Royal Highness launched an annual competition which BIGS has been regularly organizing since its launch under the patronage of the late Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa and build on the historical heritage of agricultural shows held by the State in public gardens since the 1950’s. Her objective from this was to turn BIGS into a landmark in the agenda of specialized shows held in Bahrain and to contribute clearly towards heightening community awareness of environmental issues and also to turn the event into a strong take-off towards establishing more gardens in partnership with the private sector and disseminate them all over the Kingdom of Bahrain, including businesses, industrial organizations and housing suburbs in order to be enjoyed by citizens and the future generations. The concept of staging BIGS throughout these years has developed to become an annual event concerned with the concept and idea of sustainable environment and providing the opportunity for Bahraini youths to prove themselves and showcase their abilities and skills in innovative initiatives. This beautiful spring event has become an annual tradition for nine years full of innovation and achievement. This year’s event is unique in that it is part of the NIAD launched by Her Royal Highness Shaikha Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa in March 2010. It is becoming an annual event embraced by NIAD which aimed at supporting efforts to develop agriculture in the Kingdom of Bahrain and take the agricultural sector to new heights making it a choice for those involved in it. Given the high interest in the event by the public, visitors usually look forward to seeing new and innovative techniques in plans and modern methods in flower arrangement, landscaping, tools and accessories to develop outdoor spaces at their homes. To attract the largest number of exhibitors, BIGS will provide new spaces for the exhibitors, as well as the best agricultural expertise which the organizers are keen to provide to the public in addition to patronizing new talents in landscaping and garden design. In fulfillment of His Majesty the king’s wish to turn the event into an international landmark, BIGS will continue its excellence and achievements year after year, drawing on the history of Bahrain in the field of agriculture, with its deep rooted and chequered history in this field. The palm tree has been used as a logo in all Delmonic antiquities and archaeological sites. BIGS will continue to pay attention to the occupation of agriculture which is still surviving, in order to protect it from disappearance and encourage Bahraini youths to keep this green march because this is the responsibility of all individuals since Bahrain is the motherland of all. 2012 Show….Sustainable Agriculture BIGS 2012 provided one aspect of awareness of sustainable agricultural objectives in view of NIAD, and Bahrain’s attention to sustainable agricultural development is in line with the provisions of the Constitution, which state, in Articles (9) and (11), as follows: “The State shall make the necessary arrangements to ensure the exploitation of land suitable for productive farming, and shall strive to raise the standards of farmers. The law lays down how small farmers are to be helped and how they can own their land. The State shall take the necessary measures for the protection of the environment and the conservation of wildlife. All natural wealth and resources are State property. The State shall safeguard them and exploit them properly, while observing the requirements of the security of the State and of the national economy,” particularly in view of the Kingdom’s limited arable lands, estimated at 6,400 hectares, of which 69% is utilized, and the scarcity of its water resources. 2010 Show…Seeds for Our Future 2010 show focused on the logo “sees for our future” to spread awareness of food security and the challenge it poses for the entire world. The show included stands featuring productive trees and plants in the Kingdom of Bahrain and methods for creating productive gardens at home using any available space. During the event, a new portfolio was launched to support the agricultural sector, financed by Tamkeen and managed by Ebdaa Bank. An agreement was also signed to support farmers between Tamkeen and Ebdaa Bank. The agreement provides that Tamkeen would co-operate with the bank which is specialized in the micro-finance to support Bahraini farmers.