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World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Dubai, 2023
World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Dubai

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Advancing climate-smart agriculture for food security

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As the effects of climate change worsen, environmental sustainability is becoming increasingly crucial.

Despite almost two billion people relying on smallholder farms for sustenance and income in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, only 2% of global finance is directed towards supporting these smallholder farms in adapting to the challenges caused by climate change.1

In areas such as the Middle East and Africa, the water crisis threatens to stifle economic growth rates. While the Middle East and African region accounts for 6% of the global population, it has access to a mere 2% of the world's renewable freshwater resources.2​ It is evident that agriculture will be the most affected, with the livelihoods of smallholder farmers at risk.

The 2023 Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) Summit highlighted the critical role of climate-smart agriculture in ensuring food security. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is taking proactive measures to address the challenges created by intense heat, limited arable land, and water scarcity.3

Collaborating with global partners, the goal is to engage governments and the private sector in delivering innovative solutions that promote food security while minimising the ecological footprint of farming.3

Technology presents promising solutions to progress domestic agricultural production towards regional self-reliance. Innovations such as satellite imagery and climate-related data analysis are playing a transformative role in the agricultural sector.4

By utilising satellite technology and harnessing climate data, farmers gain valuable insights into factors like drought, pests, and diseases, enabling more effective crop monitoring and farm management practices.4

The adaptability of this technology to local conditions enables countries to tailor their agricultural strategies to the unique challenges and opportunities within their borders, offering an avenue for sustainable agricultural development with climate resilience.

Climate-smart agriculture for food security

In light of these pressing issues, the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, Dubai, December 4-5, launches in the Middle East, and aims to focus international attention on the innovation and investment opportunities in the most climate-stressed regions of the world, and the unique opportunities to develop global solutions for farming in arid climates to feed growing populations.

Hosted alongside COP28, the summit is designed to foster strategic cross-regional partnerships and high-level networking amongst the region's thought leaders and decision makers. Here, growers, agribusinesses, technology providers, start-ups and investors will gather together to identify solutions with the potential to build a more sustainable, resilient food production system – and to forge partnerships to bring these solutions to market.

With an emphasis on desert agriculture, seed breeding for arid environments, and examining the potential for regenerative farming and the impact of digital platforms, fintech and Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) in enhancing local food production, the summit aims to establish the groundwork for a prosperous agri-tech entrepreneurial ecosystem in the MEASA region.

Notable speakers

Endorsed by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), the summit will host His Excellency Eng. Mohammed Mousa Alameeri to share his vision for bringing technology to traditional farmers in the UAE and beyond, driving water efficiency throughout the food production system, and boosting local production while minimising carbon emissions.

Distinguished speakers from Silal, World Bank, Savola, KAUST, Spinneys, Barakat, Bayer and Apollo Agriculture are among the line-up of over 70 global experts set to take the stage at the Conrad Hotel, Dubai.

Speakers include:

  • HE Eng. Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE 
  • Dr Shamal Mohammed, AgriTech Director, Silal
  • Martien van Nieuwkoop - Global Director, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank Group
  • Zitouni Ould-Dada, Deputy Director, Climate and Environment Division, FAO
  • Ryan Lefers, CEO & Co Founder, Redsea
  • Mohamed Al Hosani, Head of Strategic Partnerships, ADIO
  • Vanessa Adams, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, AGRA 
  • Kenneth D'Costa, Managing Director, Barakat Group
  • Dina Saleh, Regional Director, Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia (NEN), IFAD 
  • Sky Kurtz, Founder & CEO, Pure Harvest
  • Mohammad Nasr, Chief Investment Officer, Savola Group
  • Pieternel Boogaard, Global Head Agribusiness, Food & Water, FMO Dutch Development Bank

Innovation is at the heart of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit and eight emerging agri-tech entrepreneurs from countries including Lebanon, Kenya, Tunisia and Sri Lanka will take the stage in the daily start-up showcases, where they’ll present key aspects of their technology and discuss go-to market strategies.

Beyond the main stage

Complementing the main stage sessions, the summit hosts an exhibition and a 1-1 meeting room to facilitate knowledge sharing, technology discovery and networking opportunities. From early-stage start-ups and established businesses, exhibitors from all around the world will display their technology to connect with potential partners or investors.

Networking breakfasts, coffee and lunch breaks provide an ideal setting for delegates to connect with peers, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations.

A transformative event for sustainable agriculture

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in Dubai is a must-attend event for anyone eager to forge new partnerships, drive forward industry projects and discover the latest innovations and market opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit is being held at the Conrad Dubai on 4-5 December 2023. See the full programme, speaking faculty and delegate registration on the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit website.

References

1. ​Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates Foundation Calls for Bold and Immediate Action at COP27, Announces New Commitment to Meet the Climate Adaptation Needs of Smallholder Farmers​.
2.​ Unicef. Water doesn't come from a tap.
3. ​U.S. Department of Agriculture. AIM for Climate Summit Highlights Private Sector Investment in Driving Climate Action, Crucial Role of Women’s Leadership. (May 2023).
4.​ United Nations Conference on Trade & Development. Climate-smart agriculture: How satellite technology can help​. (August 2023).

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