Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Tolerance, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, launched a book on the holistic approach adopted by late Sheikh Zayed toward agriculture and plantations, on the occasion of the Year of Zayed.
During the launch of the book, which was published by the Award’s General Secretariat, Sheikh Nahyan said that agriculture lay at the heart of late Sheikh Zayed’s priorities, because it is fundamental to social stability.
He explained that living in the desert was the greatest challenge faced by the Founding Father, who, he said, realised in 1946, when he was then the Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the importance of providing water and help the people cultivate the desert.
He added that Sheikh Zayed cared immensely about the UAE’s people, and the question back then was how to empower them to defeat the desert where they used to live.
“Agriculture, in the opinion of Sheikh Zayed, represents the roots of stability for any community. Agriculture is not just the ‘colour green defeating the colour yellow of the sands’, as some used to say when speaking or writing about the life of Sheikh Zayed. Agriculture, in his belief and conviction, was the central element of stability, as there can be no civilisation or advancement without stability,” he stated.
“Agriculture is the main tool for producing food and construction material and is, therefore, a necessity. Among Sheikh Zayed’s most famous sayings was ‘give me agriculture, and I will guarantee you a civilisation,’” Sheikh Nahyan said in conclusion.