Watch: Sharjah Ruler witnesses Maliha wheat farm harvest
Sharjah: His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, visited the wheat farm in Maliha, Sharjah, today to attend the first phase of the harvest.
A video of his visit has gone viral on social media, showing him meeting with dignitaries, unveiling a plaque, and observing the wheat being harvested. During his visit, a little girl welcomed Sheikh Sultan to the farm, and he graciously kissed her hand as everyone applauded.
The wheat farm in Maliha was launched in November 2022 to provide food needs and raise production rates to cover the needs of Sharjah’s cities and regions. The first phase of wheat cultivation covered an area of 400 hectares.
The project will be completed in three phases; the first phase will be on an area of 400 hectares, the second phase will be on an area of 880 hectares in 2024, and the third phase will reach its completion on an area of 1,400 hectares in 2025.
The quantities of the UAE’s wheat imports in 2022 amounted to 1.7 million metric tonnes, and the share of the emirate of Sharjah is 330,000 metric tonnes.
The wheat farm in Maliha will contribute, after completing its stages and developing its crops, to reduce the percentage of wheat imports from abroad.
The farm’s infrastructure has been completed, which includes irrigation lines equivalent to 13 linear meters and electrical works equal to 10,000 linear metres.
During his visit, His Highness reviewed the meticulous planning and production processes that went into creating the Seven Sanabel wheat, highlighting the exceptional quality and food safety standards it has achieved. He noted that imported flour available in markets typically has a protein content of no more than 11per cent with some companies boasting about their premium flour having a protein content of 14 per cent.
In contrast, Sharjah wheat has a remarkable 18 per cent protein content. The Sharjah Cooperative Society has already reserved 9,000 tonnes of Seven Sanabel wheat, with the remaining stock to be distributed to other institutions. His Highness said he is confident that, after laboratory and field experiments, a new and even finer type of wheat called "Sharjah-1" will be produced, further enhancing the region's reputation for high-quality agricultural products.
The Ruler of Sharjah has expressed his appreciation for the successful collaboration with various entities and institutions both within and outside the emirate, which greatly contributed to the timely completion of the project.
He specifically commended the efforts of Sheikh Salem bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Advisor at the Ruler's Office, for his support and encouragement of the idea, as well as his contribution to the establishment of the Wheat Farmers Association.
He emphasised that development projects and the needs of the region are ongoing and extend beyond wheat cultivation alone. He cited the example of the vegetable cultivation project, which was launched two to three years ago with the objective of producing high-quality vegetables that are free from toxins and pesticides.
His Highness expressed concern over the increasing incidence of cancer, which is often caused by the consumption of products that contain harmful toxins. He stressed the importance of growing vegetables that are free from such toxins, not only for the benefit of current generations but also for the wellbeing of future generations. In light of this, the vegetable cultivation project will continue to be a priority for the region.