Bahrain has held its ninth International Garden Show (BIGS) at an exhibition center south of capital Manama, in a bid to promote sustainable economic growth in the agricultural sector.
The four-day event, which started on Wednesday and ended on Saturday, featured an extensive array of exhibits, including plants, locally-produced vegetables and fruits, landscaping and garden design.
Organized by the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD), the event aimed to promote national and international efforts in the agriculture sector and contribute towards increasing the country’s GDP.
“This year we have focused on agricultural investment because Bahrain has reached a point where it has become very dependent on agricultural import. So, we aim to reduce the import figures by focusing on locally-produced produce such as meat fish and greenery. We have taken the import figures into consideration and we are now trying to reduce them so that Bahrain can achieve productivity and self-sufficiency,” said Shaikha Maram Bint Isa al-Khalifa, the chair of the BIGS organizing committee.
Shaikha Maram Bint Isa al-Khalifa also honored the winners of the best displays.
The top prize was awarded to Apex Green for Special Displays while the second and third prizes went to Agriculture and Marine Resources Affairs and the Supreme Council for the Environment.
“We have taken the opportunity to exhibit the products of some small, medium and large successful companies by telling their success stories. We are proud of all these companies and we are proud that such companies have started to produce in Bahrain and take part in supporting the country’s economic sector,” al-Khalifa said.
Ashraf Omran, Research and Development Manager at the African Economy Council said the event helped create a direct relationship between producers and consumers.
“The problem we face here is the brokers’ pricing, so we have started a market system which allows farmers to deal directly with end users. Through this the consumer learns about the packaging techniques and becomes able to develop his own product. All the farmers’ markets lead to creating a direct contact between farmers and consumers and at the same time affect the broker’s behavior so he doesn’t consider raising the prices,” he said.
Visitors said they were impressed and were looking forward to further events.
“The exhibition was excellent and this is my third visit to it, so three days in a row, and today we bought products that will last us for the whole year. I hope that this event takes place more than once a year because the ideas are excellent and the products exhibited are very nice,” said Jamal Mattar, a visitor to the exhibition.
Over 120 participants were reported to have taken part in this year’s BIGS exhibition.
BIGS attracts over 20,000 visitors every year.