The Food and Water Security Office Announces Winners of ‘Design Your Own Technology Enabled-Farm’ Competition for Students

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Contest came in line with the objectives of the book ‘Food Security – Our First Journey’ that aims to raise awareness of the importance of food security in young minds

Dubai, UAE: The Food and Water Security Office has announced the winners of the ‘Design Your own technology enabled Farm’ challenge – a contest that was held in line with the objectives of the UAE children’s book ‘Food Security – Our First Journey.’ 

The award announcement was made during a virtual event attended by Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security on June 22 2021, with the activity attended by representatives from the Emirates Schools Establishment and the competition finalists and their parents. 

Issued by the Food and Water Security Office in January, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, ‘Food Security – Our First Journey’ aims to raise awareness about the importance of food security in young minds and the importance of finding innovative solutions to food security and agricultural challenges in the UAE.

Encouraging students to think about food security in the UAE, the book, available as an electronic edition, features young Emirati characters who embark on a journey of exploration, innovation and adventure to learn more about food, including how it is produced and how we can feed more people more efficiently. As well as building awareness, ‘Food Security – Our First Journey’ aims to inspire the next generation of scientists in food security and agriculture related disciplines: https://www.foodsecurity.gov.ae/en/publications/food-security-our-first-journey-1 

To further the book’s objectives, the ‘Design Your own technology enabled Farm’ challenge was launched within its pages, with the aim of encouraging students aged between 10 and 17 years to design modern farms that use the latest technologies to solve the UAE’s agricultural challenges.  The contest required entrants to either hand draw their models or use the ‘Minecraft’ software to design innovative vertical farms and/or aeroponic gardens, with the information provided inside ‘Food Security: Our First Journey’ as a guide and reference. 

The competition received a huge response from students across the country, with more than 1,900 entries received. Twelve winners were ultimately selected, along with the three top prize winners who had made it through the different judging stages.

“The UAE is keen to enhance its food security ecosystem as one of its most important strategic fields and this requires raising society’s awareness about this vital sector, with the contribution of future generations to finding innovative solutions to our food and agricultural challenges particularly important. The aim of launching ‘Food Security: Our First Journey’ was to emphasise the importance of food security and agriculture in young minds and to encourage children to think about taking up careers in the food security sector when they are older,” said Her Excellency. 

“I am delighted with the response to the competition from school students across the country, which indicates their keenness to engage with agriculture and food security at an early age. I am impressed by the youth’s ability to design and create such amazing design concepts and their innovative designs and videos. I sincerely congratulate the winners, who have shown great potential as future food scientists and agri-technologists . I would like to pass a thankful note to all who participated and ask them to keep their passion and curiosity always intrigued, we must capitalise and build on their energies and enthusiasm in this strategically vital area to create a food-secure future in the UAE,” Her Excellency added.

The winners received valuable prizes for their efforts. Afrah Minhaj from the New Indian Model school in Dubai came in first place, followed by Zoe Petroianu from the American Community School of Abu Dhabi in second place and Alya Ali Al-Shemaili from Ras Al Khaimah American Academy in third place.

Other winners include Jan Fraulin from The Philippine School in Dubai, Mahra mohammed hamad althumairie from Mawaheb School in Abu Dhabi, Amir Mabrok from Bedaa Al Mutaw’a School, Alexandros from South View School in Dubai, Yasir Khalafallah from Alain English Speaking School, Aisha Rashid Saif Al Ali from Sharjah American International School in Umm AL Quwain, Ayesha Hania from Delhi Private School in Dubai, Eco Farming Group from Cranlenigh School in Abu Dhabi, and Youmna Ehab Abdulqader Mahmoud from the National Charity Schools in Dubai.