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Alumni Spearheads Vertical Farming Initiative in UAE

Culinary Management alumni, Aphisith (Joe) Phongsavanh is helping reduce food waste by growing vegetables in pods in Dubai.

Now working in food science as a Lead Project Manager, Joe was recently visited by the United Arab Emirates's Minister of Food Security, Mariam Almheiri, to tour Smart Acres AgriTech vertical farm.

"During the tour, we discussed women's engagement and empowerment within the agriculture industry and self-sustainability," said Joe. "I was happy to speak about our initiative of turning unsold and damaged lettuce into wonderful lettuce-based sauces that I developed for our company! The idea behind my project is to reuse our unwanted lettuce and turn it into a viable source of revenue while reducing food waste."

Smart Acres was founded with the mission of improving food security within the UAE and developing the country’s farming capabilities by providing solutions to potential socioeconomic threats such as pandemics and climate limitations.

Their vision is to shape balanced well-being for communities and connect them with readily available clean foods.

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