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Dubai Municipality Opens "Grow Your Food" Campaign With FAO Participation
(27 September 2016)

 

The Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, of the United Nations has announced its participation in the "Grow Your Food" campaign, initiated by Dubai Municipality for the second consecutive year, in a bid to encourage families and schools to home farm of vegetables and fruit suited to the country’s environment.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, today opened this year’s initiative, which is consistent with FAO efforts to achieve food security, and fight and eradicate hunger and malnutrition by 2030, as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

"The campaign aims to raise public awareness on the importance of farming at homes and educational institutions. The municipality seeks to establish a culture of food sustainability and security in the UAE community," said Khalid Mohammed Sharif Al Awadhi, Assistant Director-General of Dubai Municipality for Health, Safety and Environment Control.

He added that the initiative also aims to support the vision of Dubai Municipality, which focuses on building a happy and sustainable city through the promotion of food security.

Commenting on FAO’s participation, Nabil Gangi, FAO Deputy Regional Representative to the Near East and North Africa, and sub-regional coordinator (ad interim) for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen, said, "The FAO backs this kind of campaigns because they are in line with the organisation’s efforts in the field. The UAE has succeeded in advancing this campaign in a short period of time, which is evident in the Government of Dubai’s support for the campaign and its activities as well as in the great number of participants and the enthusiasm of many people to join."

Gangi added, "The FAO expresses its thanks and gratitude to the UAE for launching such innovative initiatives to encourage people to contribute to food security in creative ways that also preserve the environment in accordance with sustainability fundamentals. FAO hopes that other regional countries will follow suit and compete for achieving food security."

Dr. Khalid Sharif, Executive Director of Dubai Municipality Food Control, said, "In the second consecutive year of the Grow Your Food Campaign, citizens and expatriates in the emirate have become more aware of the importance of home farming, and the need for preserving the environment, which paves the way for a new cultural diffusion to other UAE regions. The campaign is consistent with Dubai Municipality’s vision to build a happy and sustainable city."

Gangi was selected as a member of the jury for the campaign’s competition, which will award winners in four categories for growing the best gardens: educational institutes, corporate companies, UAE residences, and special needs. The winners will be announced at the end of the campaign.

Around 4,000 students from more than 30 schools have registered, while 20 schools have been nominated for the educational institutes categories under the "Gardening Project", launched by the Ministry of Education.

Previously, Dubai Municipality distributed guidance leaflets on ways to grow gardens at home and schools. The first step is to plan a garden by identifying and evaluating features of the location, before deciding on pathways, waterlines, and shade. Next is to design the distribution of plants, and an irrigation system suited for fruit. 

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