The Liwa Date Festival (2014) 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 carries an exclusive encouragement to preserve and maintain the palm tree, and restore the agricultural infrastructure in the region. Over the years, the public has been used to the launch of new activities and the introduction of original enlightening surprises.
Director of the Liwa Date Festival and member of the Higher Organising Committee, Mr. Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei announced the launch of a new competition, The Model Farm Award. Boasting a total value of prizes that reaches up to Dhs825,000, the new competition will honour the cleanest farm. The winner of the first position will collect Dhs400,000; the winner of the second position will be awarded Dhs250,000, and the winner of the third position will get Dhs175,000.
Registration for participation at the Model Farm Award, begins 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 comes to confirm 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 a 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 used fertilizers, the mechanisms of waste disposal, the general appearance of the farm, and finally, the maintenance of buildings and machinery and methods used to this aim. 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 and after awarding the prizes, to make sure that winners are still committed to the competition norms and criteria. The winning farms that will succeed in preserving hygiene and maintaining quality, during the year, will be honoured later. The objective consists in transforming Al Gharbia into a suitable place where nationals can live, establish families, and enjoy a decent life and a good living standard. The creation of more promising economic opportunities in the region is also one of the objectives.
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 the product, maintain hygiene at the farm, restore old buildings at the property, and preserve the quality of the soil and used materials.
Bringing together lovers of authenticity and heritage, and those interested in land and its riches, the activities of the Liwa Date Festival coincide, for the second time this year, with the celebrations of the holy month of Ramadan. The Festival opens its doors for visitors on a daily basis, in the evening session, just after Iftar (Breaking of the fast), and this from 8:00pm until 1:00am. Participations are accepted on a daily basis in the morning sessions.