ICBA hosts agripreneurship winter camp for schoolchildren in UAE
The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) recently hosted a three-day winter camp for schoolchildren aged between 10 and 16 to promote agripreneurship and raise awareness about sustainable agriculture in the UAE.
Organized jointly with the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy (DEA) and the Gracia Group under a program called BAREIM (an Arabic word meaning buds), the winter camp gave the students an opportunity to get a better understanding of farming and agri-business, as well as various tools, methods and technologies suitable for agriculture in local conditions.
While most of the sessions were delivered online, the participants also did a one-day tour of ICBA’s head offices and research stations. During the tour, experts from ICBA and the Gracia Group arranged an interactive session for the students and their parents to discuss the importance of agriculture, the challenges that exist in the sector and the ways to contribute to sustainable agricultural development and food security in the UAE.
The students also visited the Emirates Soil Museum located at ICBA and made a virtual tour of the Gracia Farm. What is more, they got to plant native trees at ICBA as a way to make their contribution to environmental protection.
The winter camp follows a recent agreement between ICBA and DEA, which is aimed at enhancing capacities and creating new entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth in critical sectors, including agriculture. Under this agreement, DEA will draw on its resources and experience as the educational arm of Dubai SME - the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector - to develop various programs with the support of ICBA to improve the knowledge and skills of university students, women, and the youth in general in different disciplines related to agriculture and enable them to be successful entrepreneurs in the sector.
The winter camp is in line with ICBA’s broader goals in terms of capacity development. It is also part of the ICBA’s Youth Engagement Society (ICBA YES) initiative which is designed to facilitate communication and collaboration between young people in the UAE and their peers in other countries. The initiative’s primary goal is to address local and global challenges related to food security and agricultural production in marginal environments and contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.