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80 firms to showcase at Bahrain garden show

Manama, January 10, 2012

More than 80 exhibitors from Bahrain, the Arab region and around the world will showcase their products and services at one of the country's biggest exhibitions opening on Sunday.

The eighth Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS) was scheduled to take place in February last year but was postponed two months later to April and again to January 2012 due to the unrest in the country.

The annual event will now go ahead from January 15 to 18 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC).

It is held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad and supported by HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty, who is advisory council chairwomen of the National Initiative for Agricultural Development.

Held under the theme, Inspiring Agricultural Sustainability, BIGS aims to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable agricultural practices and to push for their implementation across the country.

One of highlights of the event includes the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) pavilion, which will showcase 20 exhibitors from the Arab world.

The Farmers Market is another attraction that will feature eight farmers who will display fresh produce.

BIGS general co-ordinator Shaikha Maram bint Isa Al Khalifa said this year's exhibition would predominantly focus on Bahraini companies, but many had invited their international partners from countries including Spain, Germany and Syria.

The Bahrain-Japan Business and Friendship Society (BJBFS) in participation with the Japanese Embassy will have a stand at the event.

"The show is all about bringing Bahraini business owners and their partners to showcase their services," said Shaikha Maram.

"It was frustrating to postpone the show less than 10 days before the opening on February 24 last year and then our tentative date in April didn't work because of the State of National Safety and everything was tense. But the beauty is all our clients have re-signed with us and we have a few new ones."

Another major highlight of the exhibition is the Bahrain Garden Club's (BGC) 47th Annual Amateur Flower and Vegetable Competition.

It aims to promote the cultivation of domestic plants, expansion of green areas, an interest in home gardening and encourage citizens to focus more on agriculture. The most beautiful home garden will receive the His Majesty King Hamad Cup.

There are also other prizes for the best display of annual plants, container garden, lawn, display of shrubs and trees, kitchen garden, experimental garden, city garden and cactus garden.

This year for the first time, there is also a competition for public gardens across Bahrain. The winner will be awarded the Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa trophy.

Meanwhile, the Shaikha Haya bint Mohammed Al Khalifa trophy for exotic plants is also up for grabs.

Alongside the gardening competitions, amateur photographers have been given a chance to win the Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa trophy.

They can compete under the theme Garden Features in two categories: The 15-18 group and the above 19 group. Winners' names will be announced on Sunday.

BGC vice-chairwoman and media and garden judging co-ordinator Tahera Jaberi said despite a smaller number of applicants due to the early date of the show, the competition standard was high.

"We didn't have as many gardens entering this year because it is early and some people think their gardens are not ready to bloom, but schools and vegetable entries were high, even though the schools were having exams," said Jaberi.

"We had around 400 participants from government and private schools. Even though the private schools were on holiday, they still wanted to participate. Participation for flowers and vegetables were few because they are not blooming that much, but entries for the Miniature Gardens category and My Recycle were very talented."

The College of Science at Bahrain University will participate in the upcoming show by conducting live experiments and presenting studies in a bid to spread awareness about sustainable health.

Dr Essam Janahi and Maysoon Awadh from the university's biology department will conduct a live experiment on the harmful impact of free radicals (single electron molecules harmful to the body), and their role in oxidising the body's living cells and destroying them.

BIGS is organised for the first time under the umbrella of the National Initiative for Agricultural Development, launched by HRH Princess Sabeeka in 2010 with support from the National Bank of Bahrain as the main sponsor, in addition to GPIC, Bapco, Alba and Bahrain National Gas Company.

The show is held in partnership with Unido, the Municipalities and Agricultural Affairs Ministry, Education Ministry, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BGC, Ibdaa Bank and Tamkeen.

HRH Princess Sabeeka will officially open the event on Sunday. The show will be open to the public from 10am to 9pm daily.

Entrance is BD0.5 ($1.32) for a three-day pass and entry for children up to the age of 12 is free. – TradeArabia News Service




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