September 19th, 2019: A team of engineering students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have presented their innovative solution for efficient and environmentally friendly farming at the GeoTech Innovation Program’s Demo Day. Farouk Dalhatu, Nelson Egharevba and Umar Uba Abubakar were selected by the UAE Space Agency and Krypto Labs to showcase their project in front of high level industry leaders and investors, as well as key representatives of the public and private sectors.
Developed with the support and supervision of Dr. Adel Ben Mnaouer, Professor of Engineering in CUD’s Faculty of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology, the novel project involves merging two successful and well-tested farming techniques – integrated farming and precision farming – to build an AI capable platform, known as Azzira’a Tech. The project aims to provide best practices solutions that will be accessible to farmers in the form of an application, to help make farming easier and more efficient.
Revealing the idea behind the innovation, Farouk said, “The reason for this project is to help eradicate the problem of low food supply and to boost agricultural production and efficiency by about 30-40%. We have investigated the use of both precision farming and integrated farming systems, but we are yet to find documented examples of the use of these successful farming techniques together.”
He continued, “The design of the system would allow farming tools to be mostly autonomous, integrating the use of IoT, sensors, cameras, drones, and precision farming techniques into the already existing integrated farming systems, and using more technological aids to carry out activities in farming environments. We plan on implementing this in the gulf region, starting with the UAE.”
Speaking about the sustainability aspects of the project, Farouk explained, “Our research has found that most of the waste used in normal farming systems are not reused adequately, or even thrown away. Our project would ensure proper and adequate use of farm by-products in such a way to re-introduce them back into an integrated farming system, considerably reducing the negative impacts of agriculture to our environment.”
The team was shortlisted to present Azzira’a Tech following their successful participation in the GeoTech Innovation Program University Roadshow. Organized by the UAE Space Agency and Krypto Labs, the Demo Day brought together some of the region’s most exciting startups, investors and experts in space technology to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the sector, and to witness pitches from the tech innovators of the future.