Bahrain’s agri sector carries huge growth prospects

Shaikha Maram with UNIDO head Dr Hisham Hussein, left, and Bahrain Garden Club President Zahra A. Malik, announcing the launch of the BIGS 2013
With a contribution of less than one per cent to the GDP, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s agriculture sector carries huge growth potential for investors, a top official at the Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS) Organising Committee, revealed.

Shaikha Maram bint Isa Al Khalifa, General Coordinator of BIGS during a media briefing said the BIGS would continue to serve a right platform for Bahrain to showcase its agriculture sector for the local, regional and international investors.

Shaikha Maram, who was joined by the UNIDO head Dr Hisham Hussein and Bahrain Garden Club President Zahra A. Malik, highlighted the salient features of the BIGS 2013 and urged the prospective partners, exhibitors and visitors to make the event a great success.

BIGS will take place from 27th February to 2nd March, 2013 at the Bahrain International Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will be held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and with the support of the King’s Wife Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, who is President of NIAD.

This year’s Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGs) carries an important message to the business community: Bahrain’s agriculture sector is ripe for investment!

The show, organized by the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD), aims to highlight the many business opportunities that exist in agriculture, in order to help bring this important sector, once one of Bahrain’s most vital, back to the forefront. Bahrain’s agriculture sector currently contributes less than 1% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a meager figure which serves to highlight just how much room for growth there is as the Kingdom moves towards agricultural self-sufficiency. These current circumstances, combined with rising food prices and increasingly scarce natural resources, while hard on the pockets of consumers, present great opportunities for investors.

“We have seen a number of new entrants into the market recently and we believe that this is just the start,” said Shaikha Maram bint Isa Al Khalifa, General Coordinator of BIGS.

“In fact, the under-investment this sector has witnessed in recent years means that there are many highly lucrative areas of investment which are just sitting there, waiting for the right projects and investors. The current business environment, combined with available developmental initiatives like Tamkeen, making it a unique time in Bahrain’s history for investors to enter this market,” she said.

“Investment in this sector also has a secondary benefit which is, arguably, just as important – that of ensuring food security. We would like to see Bahrain eventually be agriculturally self-sufficient,” Shaikha Maram, added.

Thousands of visitors attend BIGS every year, including VIP’s, architects, consultants, developers, and other industry professionals, as well as hobbyists and retail consumers.
“The show has been growing steadily over the years. Last year we had 75 exhibitors occupying a total exhibiting area of 6,600 square meters. This year we expect more than 20,000 people to come,” Shaikha Maram, said.

“Over the years we’ve had exhibitors from the US, France, Spain, Italy, the UK, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Thailand, and Japan in addition to all the GCC countries. Last year, through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), we had participants from Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Tunisia as well.”
UNIDO is supporting the initiative again this year, as is Tamkeen.

As in 2012, Exhibition Hall 2 will be dedicated for landscaping and garden design while Hall 1 will showcase a variety of goods and services relating to gardening, and landscaping. An awards ceremony will be held at the closing of the event, which will honor exhibitors for the quality of their displays, with the winners selected by a panel of experts.

Among the many goods and services on display will be aquariums, sunshades, canopies, blinds, barbeque equipment, bird cages, playground equipment, pottery, conservatories, drainage systems, fertilizers, lighting, greenhouses, insect guards, irrigation systems, landscaping equipment, landscaping, architectural and design services, pumps, pipes, seeds, seedlings, plants pools, and fountains.

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