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Expo boost for farming.

BAHRAIN's agriculture industry could be set for a major boost with the launch of the first animal production show.

The four-day Mara'ee (Fields) event, by the Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry, will be held under His Majesty King Hamad's patronage at Bahrain International Endurance Village, Sakhir.

The Bahrain Animal Production Show 2010 (BAPS) will open to VIPs on November 24 and to the public between November 25 and 27.

It will showcase the latest technology being used in the industry and strategies to protect the health of livestock and aims to improve food security.

Improving the quality of the country's meat and poultry products, ways of developing small agricultural businesses and boosting guidance and awareness in the animal production field are also planned.

The show is expected to attract 15,000 visitors and will feature attractions such as live animal displays, animal-themed games and rides and a petting zoo.

It will take place under the theme 'Women's Role in Food Security', which organisers hope will reiterate the vital role they play in agricultural development and production.

"Animal production has become a corner stone of achieving food security," said the minister, Dr Juma Al Ka'abi.

"Many countries have taken steps to pioneer agricultural development strategies to boost animal production through the development of primary animal care, supporting breeders and animal production research and developing modern technologies in the field of animal production.

"Therefore, we are keen to make the BAPS a supportive initiative to raise the bar for efforts made to boost the country's wealth of livestock.

"This will be done through boosting co-operation and information exchange with neighbouring and friendly countries."

Speaking at a Press conference at the Budaiya Park, Dr Al Ka'abi said the ministry aimed to serve as an integrated blueprint to improve the status of agriculture in Bahrain.

"As directed by the leadership, we will launch a strategy for agricultural development, which we believe is one of the main bases of sustainable development," he said.

"We are already working a recovery and upgrading plan for the agriculture sector and at the moment providing caretakers with everything needed for free vaccinations, food and other services."

The announcement of the show coincided with Arab Agricultural Day, which fell yesterday.

Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Nabeel Abu Al Fateh said the show had already attracted around 75 so-called animal and 300 bird breeders.

"We are expecting the number of animal handlers to jump to 100, while it is still an open door for bird handlers despite having many, especially falconers, come forward," he said.

"The show is open for exhibitors whether they are local, regional or international commons or traders."

The show, which will be free for participants and visitors, will include exhibitors in various fields, including fish farming, agricultural machinery and equipment, food processing and animal fodder.

"We also have exhibitors in dairy products, fertilisers and pesticides, and agricultural publications and organisations," said Dr Al Fateh.

"We are expecting 15,000 visitors and the countries involved as exhibitors are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey as well as the UK, Germany and Russia."

InJAz Bahrain executive director Shaikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa praised the King and authorities for setting up the event.

"We thank organisers for plans to focus on animal production and we believe that is a complementation of the Bahrain International Garden Show already staged annually," she said.

"It is a push forward that we are keen to continue as the agricultural sector improves."

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Oct 4, 2010
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