American Univesity of Beirut

Aana Prizes in Agribusiness Recognize Innovation and Benefit to Community

​​​​The Agribusiness Program at FAFS held virtually the Aana Prizes in Agribusiness event (May 6). The event celebrated agribusiness students and their accomplishments within the Agribusiness Program. 

Each year, students participate in the Aana Prizes as part of their capstone course, “Agribusiness Final Year Project," taught by Dr. Gumataw Abebe and Ms. Rachel Bahn.

This year's event featured remarks from Dean Rabi Mohtar and Dr. Gumataw Abebe, acting coordinator of the Agribusiness Program; student presentations; and the announcement of both the jury members' selection and the audience choice. The jury was comprised of Ramy Boujawdeh, Deputy General Manager of Berytech; Ali Chalak, Associate Professor at FAFS; and Nadine Khoury, FAFS alumna and COO of Robinson Agri. More than 70 students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and supporters attended the online event.

Nadine Khoury stated “The world and Lebanon in particular are facing a serious health problem, economic problem, social problem, and above all a food security problem. The food security of the country and the region is at stake. And it is people like you – motivated, innovative, and forward-thinking – that we need to revive the sector."

Student presentations highlighted business plans that will deliver high-quality and locally produced agri-food inputs, as well as new food products offering a more sustainable environmental footprint. This year, the project entitled “Waste-to-Nourish" captured both the jury members' and the audience's vote. The project seeks to transform organic waste material into two products – high quality compost for use as fertilizer and protein-rich larvae for use as animal feed. Both products are demanded by local agricultural producers in Lebanon, but increasingly difficult to access in light of currency depreciation and restricted imports to the country. The project is the work of a trio of female entrepreneurs – Ramzah Chammout, Hala El Moussaoui, and Fatima Kesserwani – who also won first prize at this year's IBDAA competition for their idea. The winning team has been awarded cash prizes to recognize their efforts and support their continued development of their business ideas.

The Aana Prizes in Agribusiness were established in 2014 through a generous donation to FAFS. ​

Fatima Kesserwani
Hala El Moussaoui

Ramzah Chammout

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