THE MENA REGION
FOOD SECURITY SYMPOSIUM
Due to heavy dependence on food imports and increasing water scarcity, the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) is considered to be one of the most food insecure regions in the world and climate change is projected to cause more disruption.
Innovation and technology has a key role to play in driving food security. How can we accelerate technology-based food production and supply chains in the region? What new technologies and innovations have the biggest potential for sustainable food production in the region? Where are we now on local farmers adopting new, sustainable technologies?
The Symposium will bring together policymakers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics and innovators to examine their roles in the future of the region’s food security.
The MENA Region Food Security Symposium is free to attend and seats in each session are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
|Day 1 – Monday 9 March 2020|
|10:30 – 11:00||Opening ceremony|
|11:00 – 11:55||Official opening and tour of the exhibition|
|11:55 – 12:00||Conference Opening Remarks|
|12:00 – 12:15||Keynote Address by Thanawat Tiensin, Chairperson, Committee on World Food Security (CFS)|
|12:15 – 12:30||Keynote Presentation by Ermis Kebreab, Director, World Food Centre, Associate Dean for Global Engagement, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Sesnon Endowed Chair, Department of Animal Science, University of California Davis|
|12:30 – 12:45||Food Security Challenges in the Middle East: Managing an indoor climate for food when it’s 40°C outside. IGS will reveal several new key advancements in their vertical farming technology with in-depth details
Ole Georg, Managing Director, AgTech
|12:45 – 13:30||Opening Panel: Accelerating technology-based food production and supply chains for food security and sustainability
• As the urgency for food security in the region increases and arable land and water grows scarcer, what new approaches are needed to dramatically scale up high impact technologies and solutions for more secure and sustainable food production systems and supply chains?
|13:30 – 14:15||Panel: UAE’s strategy and pioneering projects in the region
From natural gas to high-protein livestock feed in Saudi Arabia
Farming salmon in the desert
|14:15 – 15:00||TBA|
|15:00 – 15:45||Panel: Deep Dive: Smart water use in food production
As water grows even scarcer in the region and with agriculture accounting for around 80 percent of all water usage in the region, it’s critical we act now to save water.
• What new technologies and innovations have the biggest potential for sustainable water use in food production? How will these new systems plug into the industry now and in the future? What partners and investments are needed to make a big leap forwards and fast track water-smart food production?
• From vertical farming, hydroponics, advanced irrigation systems, salt-tolerant crops, treated wastewater, drones will hear perspectives on innovations to reduce water use.Moderator: TBAPanelists:Salt Water Agriculture
Mark Tester, Professor of Plant Science, KAUST, Saudi Arabia, Head, Food Sector, NEOM, Co-Founder, Red Sea Farms LLCSmart Water Use in Greenhouses
Ir. Jouke Campen, International Project Manager, Wageningen UR Greenhouse HorticultureIntroducing the automated Gravity Flow system for large scale food production.
• The scientific background behind tech development.
• Food safety and water recirculation.
Per Aage Lyssa, CEO, Founder, Intravision Group, Co-Founder, Elevate Farms Inc.Dax Denneboom, General manager, Artechno GrowsystemsSustainable Desalination in Greenhouses
Christopher Rothera, Co-Founder, Canopy Farms Ltd.
|15:45 – 16:30||Panel: The blue bioeconomy: Boosting the sustainable use of renewable aquatic resources
The blue bioeconomy is emerging as an exciting area of innovation based on the sustainable and smart use of renewable aquatic natural resources including for food, feed and energy.
• What are the trends and innovations in the blue bioeconomy with potential in the Middle East? How can we maximize the use of aquatic bioresources for the future of food and feed production in the region?
• What partnerships and collaborations are emerging to enable the creation of successful new innovations, operating models and solutions?
• What needs to be done in terms of policy and regulation, funding, value chain, science and technology to create value and ensure growth of the blue bioeconomy in the Middle East?Moderator:
Haydar H. Al Sahtout, Director, Arabian Shrimp Co., Chairman, Fisheries Strategic Development Plan Steering Committee, Saudi Arabia, Former CEO, Saudi Fisheries CoPanelists:
Tom Cook, VP. Global Business Development, Proteon Pharmaceuticals
Bader Bin Mubarak, CEO, Fish Farm LLC, UAE
Dawood Suleiman AlYahayai, Director, Aquaculture Development Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Oman
Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani, Laboratory of Algal, Synthetic, and Systems Biology, Associate Professor of Biology, Division of Science and Math, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)
|16:40 – 17:30||GFIA Innovation Awards Ceremony|
|17:30 – 17:40||Closing Remarks|
|Day 2 – Tuesday 10 March 2020|
|10:30 – 10:45||Opening Keynote
H.E. Dr. Christopher Hegadorn, Secretary-General of the Committee on World Food Security
|10:45 – 11:30||Opening Panel: Building financing for the region’s agtech ecosystem
Whilst the agtech community is growing in the region and just in the last year Abu Dhabi government has committed $272 million to developing the sector, the private sector has a critical role to play in its growth. This session will explore how we can foster growth of investment in agtech and create a thriving industry in the Middle East.
• What does the ecosystem for agtech entrepreneurs and startups look like and what is needed to make a giant leap forward? Review of accelerator programmes, investors, advisors, supporters, collaborators etc. in the region.
• How can we increase financing from the region’s venture capital firms, corporate investors and family offices in order to drive the pace of innovation?
• What are the most exciting agtech startups and innovators in the region? Who are ‘ones to watch’?
• What’s the role of R&D in developing the agtech sector?Moderator:
Fadi Naffah, Lebanon Enterprise Development Program Director, Berytech, Lebanon
Mohammed Alafranji, Program Manager, Hassad, Jordan
|13:15 – 14:15||TBA
|14:15 – 15:00||Panel: Where are we now on local farmers adopting new, sustainable technologies?
Most of the region’s farms are small and medium scale enterprises where technology has huge potential to increase productivity.
• How do we get local farmers the innovations they need to run viable businesses, whilst producing safe, nutritious food without damaging our natural resources?
• What are the barriers to technology adoption for small and medium-scale farmers in the region?
• How is agtech – from precision agriculture and robotics to indoor farming technology and bio-based crop protection – transforming how food is being produced and the farmers and who grow it? Review of key sectors including fruit and vegetable crops, honey production, dates farming and animal
Ibrahim Al Dukheri, Director General, Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD)
Aly Abousabaa, Director General, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Denis Anderson, Managing Director, Bees Downunder Pty Ltd, Specialist, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA)
|15:00 – 15:45||Panel: The growing need for feed
As the population grows and as food consumption patterns change from cereal-based to protein-rich, there is a growing demand for animal products in the region. What we feed our livestock and fish is key to sustainable food security.
|15:45 – 16:00||Panel: Food Waste: Integrating digital technologies for smarter, safer, more sustainable supply chains
• How are digital tools enabling us to solve some of the cold chain’s biggest challenges in the region?
• What breakthroughs are being made to make solutions even smarter? How will Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and machine learning change the game for supply chains?
• How are start-ups responding to consumer demands for transparency and quality and building smarter supply chains for the marketplace? How can their solutions help drive momentum across the food industry?
• How are the tech giants shaping the sector?Moderator:
Matthijs Monstma, Program Manager Postharvest Quality, Wageningen Food & Biobased ResearchPanelists:
Dr. Irwin Donis-González, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California Davis
Dragiša Stevanović, Regional Sales Director & Sales Driver for EC&S -EMA, Danfoss
|16:00 – 17:00||GFIA Innovation Awards Ceremony|
|17:00 – 17:05||Closing Remarks|
Entry is free for all visitors. Register here