The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Arab Women Investors Union (AWIU) and the industrial investors Guild Suez line channel today launched a Regional competition for an Aquaponics designrdquo;. The competition aims to raise awareness on the use of new and innovative technologies for food production that would increase families’ income in Egypt and the region.
On the occasion of the competition launch, Nabil Gangi, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, said: We have been cooperating with the Arab Women Investors Union for more than four years and today we are taking this partnership to a next level through the launch of the Aquaponics designrdquo; competition that aims to make a real change at the lifestyle and nutrition system of thousands of families in the NENA regionrdquo;.
The competition allows innovative youngsters to design environmentally friendly Aquaponicsrdquo; at low cost, and I take this opportunity to encourage creative youth to participate in the competition. We are looking for designs that consider aesthetic, practical and environmental aspectsrdquo;, Gangi added.
We have a huge responsibility towards the community and towards the poor families inside and outside Egypt, that’s why we will always look for joint projects with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, we decided to financially support the Aquaponics designrdquo; competition to encourage youth from around the region to participaterdquo;, Hoda Galal Yassa, President of the AWIU and head of the Industrial Investors Society Guild Suez line channel declared.
One of the benefits of this competition , is giving the youth from the Near Est and North Africa region the opportunity to contribute to the beautification of their cities and villages and create aquaponics that could provide healthy and balanced food to the rural familiesrdquo;. Ms. Yassa added.
The Jury of the regional Aquaponics design competition will include representatives from FAO and the Blue growth initiative for fisheries and aquaculture, Dr. Ousama Mouhamad Husseini from the Faculty of Agriculture at Cairo University, Dr. Huda Jalal Yassa, head of AWIU and head of the Industrial Investors Guild Suez line channel and Dr. Saboura Alsayed from AWIU and Ms. Zeenat Al Shall head of the agricultural investment committee at AWIU.
The Jury will announce later the competition terms and conditions, in addition to the steps for application to the competition and submission of the designs. The competition will end by February 2017.
Aquaponics is a symbiotic integration of two mature food production disciplines: aquaculture, the practice of fish farming and hydroponics, the cultivation of plants in water without soil, are combined within a closed recirculating system.
Soil-less agriculture is also important because of its higher water- and fertilizer-use efficiency, which makes hydroponics the most suitable farming technique in arid regions or wherever nutrient dispersal is an issue for both environmental and economic reasons.
The aquaculture-fish systems are cheap source of animal protein and vitamins, which greatly improves the nutrition and health of families, especially those with low levels of income.
This approach is appreciated by international agencies and organizations, where it is referred that FAO has supported 550 rooftop gardens and in the backyard in the Gaza Strip since 2011, and it also applied in many areas around the region.
FAO has recently issued Arabic guide that would answer the participants’ questions on the practical side of aquaponics, the guide is available in English as well.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).