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Indian student from UAE wins international short video contest – News

Students from more than 19 countries and across five continents participated in the contest.

An Indian boy living in UAE, won the international short video competition, ‘My Food, Our Future’, organised by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to mark the World Food Day on October 16.

13- year-old Johan Sanju Sebastian, currently studying in grade 8 at the Abu Dhabi Indian School, was the runner up in the youth category (10-17 years) of the annual short video contest, winning the $250 prize.

Sebastian, originally hailing from Kasaragod in south Indian sate of Kerala, submitted a two-minute video, titled, ‘Farming for Our Future,’ highlighting advantages of aquaponics farming system and how this system could contribute to a sustainable and food secure future.

Headquartered in Washington, IFPRI organised its first annual short video contest, ‘My Food, Our Future’, to raise awareness and encourage youth to get involved in finding solutions to food security challenges in their neighborhood, community, and country.

This year’s theme for the contest encouraged participants to offer ideas and solutions to help ensure the world has access to healthy, diverse, and affordable diets.

“The youth are a powerful resource for economic development and social progress. Young people hold tremendous energy and creativity to not only contribute to agriculture, but also in addressing the major challenges facing humanity – hunger, poverty, and climate change,” said IFPRI Director General, Shenggen Fan.

“It is imperative for the current generation to help remove the barriers youth face in order to reach the full potential of our youth and our world. The video contest enables us to listen to and amplify the voices of youth across the globe,” added Fan.

Sebastian learnt about the contest from his uncle in India. “I found this as an opportunity to learn more and share knowledge of future farming systems which I learnt during a visit to our family farm in Kerala,” said Sebastian.

Earlier, in July 2019, while on a school vacation in Kasaragod, he had an opportunity to learn more about aquaponics from his grandfather at their family farm and witness the advantages of water saving and the natural cycle of producing fresh and organic fruits, vegetables and fish.

“I had a feeling that aquaponics could be a solution for future micro-farming, and it needs to be promoted widely in India and across the world where there is a shortage of water,” said Sebastian.

For future though, Sebastian has his eyes set on becoming an environmental engineer. He is keen to get involved with nature, protect environment and undertake organic farming.

Other winners in this category include Australia’s Hannah Yin and Hiya Shah, who won the top prize of $500; and Russia’s Maria Ivanova Maria Konstantinova, who won the $250 prize.

In the second youth category (18-25 years), Mexico’s Frida Garza Mendiolea and her team won the top prize of $500, while Russia’s Nadya Putyakova and Nepal’s Grace Tiwari bagged the second spot with $250 prize each.

Students from more than 19 countries and across five continents participated in the short video contest.



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