Dubai contest encourages residents to grow their own food

Participants will be given two to three months to set up gardens then send photos of their produce.

DUBAI // Residents are being encouraged to grow fruit and vegetables on their balconies and terraces as part of a municipality contest.

On Tuesday, Hussain Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, launched the Grow Your Food programme.

“The campaign aims to raise public awareness on the importance of farming at homes and educational institutions,” said Khalid Al Awadhi, assistant director general for health, safety and environment control.

“The municipality seeks to establish a culture of food sustainability and security of the UAE community in the long term.”

To promote healthy living, the campaign will include a contest where participants set up gardens on their balconies, rooftops, villa courtyards, labour camps, car parks or schools.

A technical team will advise those taking part on how to cultivate land, and ways to eradicate pests and diseases.

They will be given two to three months to set up gardens and send photos of their produce.

The contest is open to four categories – educational institutions, government and private companies, centres for people with special needs, and residents.

A jury will evaluate the gardens and select 10 contestants before site visits will choose the winner from each category.

The initiative aims to support the municipality’s vision for building a happy and sustainable city.

“It encourages people to contribute to food security in creative ways that also preserve the environment in accordance with sustainability fundamentals,” said Nabil Gangi, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation regional deputy.

Published: September 27, 2016 04:00 AM