The Liwa Date Festival constitutes a unique occasion that is eagerly awaited by the palm tree farmers in Liwa city (in the Western Region-Abu Dhabi). The annual event boasts a major effect on the local population as it encourages all to preserve and maintain the date palm, and restore the agricultural infrastructure in the region.
Director of the Liwa Date Festival and member of the Higher Organising Committee, Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, this week announced the launch of a new competition, The Model Farm Award. Boasting a total value of prizes up to Dh825,000, the new competition will honour the cleanest farm.
Registration for participation at the Model Farm Award began yesterday, on the first day of the Festival, and ends on the 17th of July, just one day before the wrapping up of the Festival activities. The results will be announced on the last day of the Festival.
"This new competition confirms the high status of Liwa City as an oasis of the past that has witnessed major historical events. Liwa is not only an ancient desert capital and a well-fortified refuge, but it is also the beating heart of Al Dhafra region," Mazrouei said.
The evaluation criteria for the Model Farm Award take into consideration the methods used to get rid of harmful insects and plants, the quality and preservation of the soil, the quality of fertiliser used, the mechanisms of waste disposal, the general appearance of the farm, and finally, the maintenance of buildings and machinery. The evaluation mechanisms include field visits to all participating farms.
The assessment of the farms does not stop at this point, as the jury will make three surprise visits, during the year after awarding the prizes, to make sure that winners are still committed to the competition norms and criteria. The winning farms that succeed in preserving hygiene and maintaining quality during the year will be honoured later.
The 1st edition of the competition is expected to attract about 100 participating farms from eastern and western districts of Liwa. The Model Farm Award aims at encouraging farmers to improve the quality of their products, maintain hygiene at farms, restore old on their property and preserve the quality of soil and materials used.
The activities of the Liwa Date Festival coincide with the celebrations of the Holy Month of Ramadan this year, and while evaluations will take place during the day, the Festival opens its doors for visitors just after Iftar (Breaking of the fast), from 8:00pm until 1:00am.