Event Overview

In recent years, governments across the Middle East have developed a robust food security strategy for their nations to ensure access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food all year round. Improving the local produce has been one of the top priorities for these authorities and this has been complemented by the innovations in the agritech space that have helped farms to improve their products in the arid environment.

The COVID-19 situation has increased the need for the MENA region to be self-dependent and is rapidly reforming food security readiness. This has fast-tracked the move by the agriculture sector towards implementing technologies such as vertical farms, hydroponics, aeroponics, automation, artificial intelligence, and other agritech innovations to ensure faster harvest cycles, reduced usage of water and fertilisers and improved effective space to yield ratio. With this said, authorities across the MENA region are offering incentives on all aspects of agriculture to encourage farmers, operators, and food producers to adopt innovations that contribute to their nation's food security strategies.

The third DigiConference of the MENA Food Security Forum series will focus on the latest trends and innovations in agriculture and the opportunities in improving the quality and quantity of domestic produce. This DigiConference will bring together C-suite executives from government, non-government organizations, private sector and consumers across the Middle East and North Africa along with global tech players involved in the development and adoption of AgriTech innovation to engage in thought-provoking discussions and share latest best practices, challenges and thought leadership on ways to improve the domestic agriculture produce.

Event in Numbers

200+

Attendees

100+

Decision makers

18+

Speakers

2

Digi-Conference days

 
4

Panel discussions

6

Innovations

15+

Countries

Speakers and Advisors


Sheikh Dr. Majid Sultan Al Qassimi
Adviser to the Minister,
Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), UAE


Sattam Almazyad
Head of Agricultural Investments Abroad initiative,
Agricultural Development Fund Saudi Arabia
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Dr. Fadi Naser Al-Natour
Risk Analysis Specialist,
Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority
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Erik Smidt
Agricultural Counsellor, Gulf Region,
Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, The Netherlands
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David Farquhar
Chief Executive Officer,
Intelligent Growth Solutions
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Avinoam Nathanel
Chief Executive Officer,
Grow Tec HK


Dr. Dionysia Lyra
Halophyte Agronomist,
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture – ICBA
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Dr. Louiza Chitour
Program & Partnerships Manager, MENA,
Plug and Play
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Olav Scholte
Strategic Alliances and Public & Government Affairs,
Signify Middle East
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Dr. Ameena Ali Kulaib Al Tenaiji
Water, Food Nexus Expert
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Lior Hessel
Founder and Chief Executive Officer,
Growponics
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Kyle Wagner
Head of Operations,
Madar Farms
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Yazen Al Kodmani
Operations Manager,
Emirates Bio Farm
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Eng. Mohamed Al Muhairi
Agriculture Development Section Manager,
Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority


Basem AL Khawaldeh
Technical Consultant, Enterprise Development - Support & Membership,
Khalifa Fund
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Jacek Plewa
Chief Executive Officer,
Healthy Farm Food Innovation
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Dr. Meis Moukayed
Professor of Health and Life Sciences,
American University in Dubai
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Stefano Hiwat
International Sales Manager - Russia & CIS,
Gavita International b.v
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Zevick Levi
VP Marketing & Sales,
Grow Tec HK


Youssouf Kamal
Innovation & Partnerships Manager,
Plug and Play
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Jude Hamod
Head of Business Development,
Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park
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Dr. Habtamu Gebraegziabher
Post-doctoral Fellow: Urban and Vertical Farming,
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture – ICBA
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Hemant Julka
Chief Operating Officer,
VeggiTech

Why Get Involved?

Who Will Attend the MENA Food Security Digi-Conference: Agriculture?

Regional C-suite executives from:
 

Conference Format



Conference Program

Gulf Standard Time (GMT +4) Conference Program
10:00 Meeting Room Opens
10:05 Welcome Remarks from Great Minds Group
10:10 Keynote presentation
10:20 An outlook of investment opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom’s agricultural investment abroad
  • Sattam Almazyad, Head of Agricultural Investments Abroad initiative, Agricultural Development Fund Saudi Arabia
10:35Video reel from Intelligent Growth Solutions
10:40 How can circular Agriculture contribute to worldwide food security?
  • Erik Smidt, Agricultural Counsellor, Gulf Region, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, The Netherlands
10:55 How to perfect crop production
  • David Farquhar, Chief Executive Officer, Intelligent Growth Solutions
11:05 TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION SESSION:

*This session will highlight key emerging innovations that cater to the farming sector in the MENA region. The session consists of three (10 minutes) back-to-back presentations from experts in the industry who will provide insights on the successful application of a variety of innovations and case-studies.

Moderator
  • Youssouf Kamal, Innovation & Partnerships Manager, Plug and Play

Industry insight 1:
  • Dr. Louiza Chitour, Program & Partnerships Manager, MENA, Plug and Play

Industry insight 2:
  • Why the GCC will emerge as the global leaders of indoor agriculture ?
  • Kyle Wagner, Head of Operations, Madar Farms

Industry insight 3:
  • Lior Hessel, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Growponics

Q&A With the presenters
12:00 Video reel by Grow Tec HK
12:05 Evolution of indoor farming in the MENA region
  • Where is the Middle East in terms of adoption, and How to adapt to international technologies?
  • Artificial light v/s natural light: What are the factors considered to take the right decision?
  • What are the lessons learned and best practices in the region?

Moderator:
  • Zevick Levi, VP Marketing & Sales, Grow Tec HK

Panelists:
  • Olav Scholte, Strategic Alliances and Public & Government Affairs, Signify Middle East
  • Kyle Wagner, Head of Operations, Madar Farms
  • Dr. Habtamu Gebraegziabher, Post-doctoral Fellow: Urban and Vertical Farming, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture – ICBA
12:35 Panel discussion: Future of indoor farming and what does that mean to the MENA region
  • What are some of the global trends and what are the innovations that are driving the market and vast adoption?
  • What is the role of AI and automation in farming and how is it affecting the KPIs of indoor farms
  • Filling the gaps in the value chain

Moderator:
  • Youssouf Kamal, Innovation & Partnerships Manager, Plug and Play

Panelists:
  • David Farquhar, Chief Executive Officer, Intelligent Growth Solutions
  • Stefano Hiwat, International Sales Manager - Russia & CIS, Gavita International b.v
  • Hemant Julka, Chief Operating Officer, VeggiTech
13:05 Closing remarks and end of day one
Gulf Standard Time (GMT +4) Conference Program
10:00 Meeting Room Opens
10:05 Welcome Remarks from Great Minds Group
10:10 Closing the sustainability gap in food production
  • Yazen Al Kodmani, Operations Manager, Emirates Bio Farm
10:25 Video Reel by Green Bridge
10:30 Saline agriculture and value chain: a feasible reality in salt-affected areas
Dr. Dionysia Lyra, Halophyte Agronomist, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture – ICBA
10:45 Panel discussion: Supporting food and nutrition security in UAE with unconventional crops amid COVID19 pandemic

Moderator:
  • Dr. Dionysia Lyra, Halophyte Agronomist, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture – ICBA

Panelists:
  • Eng. Mohamed Al Muhairi, Agriculture Development Section Manager, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority
  • Basem AL Khawaldeh, Technical Consultant, Enterprise Development - Support & Membership, Khalifa Fund
  • Jacek Plewa, Chief Executive Officer, Healthy Farm Food Innovation
  • Dr. Meis Moukayed, Professor of Health and Life Sciences, American University in Dubai
11:15Video Reel by Priva
11:20 Technology impact on food security and waste
  • Jude Hamod, Head of Business Development, Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park
11:35 Integrated hydroponic farming
  • Dr. Ameena Ali Kulaib Al Tenaiji, Water, Food Nexus Expert
11:50 Closing remarks and end of Digi-Conference

MENA Food Security Agriculture | Highlights & Testimonials


Highlight video

The first of its kind virtual Digi-conference hosted from Dubai took place on 29 – 30 June, 2020 via video conferencing technology. The conference launched with the goal of gathering a select group of experts in the agriculture sector to discuss the latest trends and innovations in agriculture and the opportunities in improving the quality and quantity of domestic produce.

How can you contribute as a supplier?

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP PRESENTATIONS Establish pre-eminence amongst your peers

USE CASE PRESENTATIONS Demonstrate how you have successfully helped other farms and food producers

BRAND AWARENESS
Multiple opportunities to increase your brand visibility, before, during and after the event

LEAD GENERATION Increase your new business opportunities from a highly targeted audience

Sponsors and Partners



 

Media Partners

Sponsorship Opportunities

 

We have a diverse range of sponsorship opportunities available. A member of the sponsorship team will work with you to create a bespoke package to suit your business objectives. For more information email partnerships@gmevents.ae or call +971 (0) 4 568 7800

 

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