Food security, sustainability gain more regional ground

Dubai - Focus on agriculture at WEF’s virtual Davos event reflects growing importance of food security



The pandemic has served as a harsh reminder of the need for concerted proactive action, to create a more food secure and sustainable world. — Wam
The pandemic has served as a harsh reminder of the need for concerted proactive action, to create a more food secure and sustainable world. — Wam
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 5 Feb 2021, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Fri 5 Feb 2021, 11:47 PM

Middle East region is now a hot bed for agriculture as food security becomes vital with more players setting up businesses. The World Economic Forum’s Davos event — the annual meeting of global political leaders and business elite, which shapes policies and partnerships for a more inclusive, cohesive and sustainable future — was held virtually this year, due to the continuing global pandemic. In a departure from previous editions, Davos 2021 featured an increased focus on agriculture and food production, along with their knock-on effects on climate change, water scarcity and deforestation.

Chandra Dake, CEO and Founder of Dake Rechsand. — Supplied photo
Chandra Dake, CEO and Founder of Dake Rechsand. — Supplied photo

“These developments reflect how the pandemic has reset our attention, on to pressing issues that are nearing an irreversible tipping point and can no longer be ignored,” said Chandra Dake, CEO and Founder of Dake Rechsand, a Dubai-based company offering sustainable solutions in agriculture. “Access to food is a basic human right, but last year, 690 million people were chronically undernourished, while three billion could not afford a nutritious diet. At the same time, more than a billion tonnes of food continues to be wasted every year. The WEF’s deliberations on this issue could not be more timely,” Chandra added.

The pandemic has served as a harsh reminder of the need for concerted proactive action, to create a more food secure and sustainable world. But it has also shown that the world is capable of decisive action, when faced with extreme adversity. This new-found zeal could be channelled to meet the goals set out by the Paris Agreement, while achieving global food security and restoring ecological balance. In this context, the Davos Agenda’s special emphasis on agriculture - which remains a major driver of water consumption, climate change and deforestation – signals a significant change.

Dake Rechsand’s sustainability solution of breathable sand enables optimal agricultural productivity in deserts and arid regions, while reducing water consumption by nearly 80 per cent, claims Chandra. “We are leveraging technology to empower sustainable agriculture and hoping to drive food security in the Mena region, through inclusive and eco-friendly solutions. Agriculture, currently an activity that comes at a high ecological cost, can become the first carbon-neutral sector. At Dake Rechsand, we are committed to this cause, and see it as one of the critical elements of a sustainable world.”

Similarly, Innoterra a Swiss-Indian food and technology platform company — operating in 14 countries including the UAE — is all set to expand its operations in the region. The company’s mission is to transform the food ecosystem at scale to ensure a sustainable supply of healthy food to the world.

Innoterra is a food and technology platform company interacting and providing products and services to 65,000 farmers and serving around 1.5 million consumers daily through a range of fully traceable, branded high-quality food products with a daily production of 450 tonnes. Innoterra currently has over 120 proprietary collection and distribution centres across India, the Middle East, and the Philippines.

Ron Pal, founder of Pioneering Ventures and CEO of Innoterra, says: “In the next 30 years, we will have to increase food productivity by 70 per cent to feed the 10 billion people then living on our planet. As food security and sustainability is becoming an important global challenge, we must critically question the status quo of the industry and the entire food ecosystem. Together, we need to facilitate a fundamental change. Our vision is to build one of the planet’s most impactful food ecosystem platforms with a strong focus on the farming community. We see our company as an integral part of the food ecosystem and view our role as an orchestrator with the mission to provide consumers access to healthier and more sustainably produced food, while empowering farmers and other stakeholders in the system.”

— sandhya@khaleejtimes.com


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