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 modernizing the food production sector by implementing innovative technologies and practises.

The fourth DigiConference of the MENA Food Security Forum series will focus on the latest trends and innovations in boosting local produce and the opportunities in improving the quality and quantity of local production. This DigiConference will bring together C-suite executives from government, non-government organisations, private sector, and consumers across the Middle East and North Africa along with global tech players.

4th Edition in Numbers

200+

Attendees

100+

Decision-makers

15

Speakers

2

Panel discussions

4

Innovations


 
15+

Countries

4

Keynotes

1

Spotlight session


Post-event Video


Testimonials


Testimonials


Post-event Video


Post-event Video


Testimonials

“Educating the consumer about healthy options and sustainable consumption is an important factor in achieving food security and sustainability. This forum opens up such discussions to plan the way forward in proposing best solutions that not only address agriculture production but also consumer consumption”
Dr. Meis Moukayed, Professor of Health and Life Sciences, American University in Dubai

Event Highlights

The first edition’s 5 Panel discussions raised over 30 questions from the audience in the Zoom chatbox

57 Regional and International speakers from over 10 Countries shared their expertise

The first edition saw 3 Keynotes from the Food and Agriculture Organization (UN), Food Security office (UAE) and Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (UAE)

The second edition’s session raised 229 chat interactions in the Zoom chatbox

96.23% of the attendees found the speakers informative and engaging

600+ participants from over 15 countries attended the event, featuring high-level participation from Ministries and Government organizations from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, South Africa, Finland, and New Zealand

Technologies from Finland, India, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and the USA were showcased at these forums

98.11 % of the attendees expressed their interest in attending DigiConnect’s future events on food security

The Expert Panel

Digi-Conference Chairman

 

Kayan Akram Jaff, Senior Policy Adviser, Food and Agriculture Organization

Speakers & Moderators


Sheikh Dr. Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, Partner, Soma Mater


Dr. Ali Mohammad Al-Shaikhi, Director General, Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, KSA


Mona Siblini, Head of the Horticulture and Field Crops Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Lebanon


Rachid Serraj, Delivery Manager - Regional Initiative on Small Scale Family Farming, Food and Agriculture Organization


Fatema AlMulla, Senior Research Analyst, Food & Water Security Office



Abdulaziz AlMulla, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Madar Farms


Seta Tutundjian, Director of Programs, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture – ICBA


Dr. Latifa Dhaouadi, Assistant Professor, Regional Research Center for Oasis Agriculture - CRRAO, Tunisia


Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta, Associate Director, Market Development, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)


Yazen Al Kodmani, Operations Manager, Emirates Bio Farm



Kyle Wagner, Head of Operations, Madar Farms


Trevor Mecham, Vice President of Global Technology Strategy & Industry Relations, Valley Irrigation


Dr. Mohammad Shayesteh, Product Manager for Horticultural Solutions, AGCULTURE


David Farquhar, Chief Executive Officer, Intelligent Growth Solutions


Shanni Srivastava, Sub Region Head East Africa & Middle East, UPL


 

Chafic Moghrabi, Commercial Manager - Middle East, UPL

Spotlight session: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 

Philippos Papageorgiou, Director of Aquaculture, National Fisheries Development Program, KSA


Dr. Ryan Lefers, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Red Sea Farms


Prof. Abdullah M. Alhamdan, Director of CDIT (Chair of Dates Industry and Technology), King Saud University

Why Get Involved?

Hear from the regional ministries, authorities and project stakeholders on some of the regional food security initiatives.

Attend the Technology innovation showcase’ session to know about acclimatisable technologies and methodologies that can be adopted in the Middle East, whether it is growing rice in the desert or growing nutritious food 24 X 7 round the year in an indoor farm.

Learn about the available and most effective technologies in traditional, modern, organic, and smart farming including indoor vertical farming, hydroponics, aeroponics, etc. from leading farm owners and research organizations in the Middle East.

Don’t miss the focused session on Saudi Arabia’s food production sector.

Who will attend MENA Food Security Digi-Conference: Agriculture?

 
  • Food Producers
  • Agriculture engineering and consulting firms
  • Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  • Academia

Conference Program

Gulf Standard Time (GMT +4) Conference Program
10:00 Welcome remarks from the Great Minds Group
10:05 Opening remarks from the Chairman
  • Kayan Akram Jaff, Senior Policy Adviser, Food and Agriculture Organization
Session 1 Innovations in MENA agricultural projects
10:10 Opening panel discussion: Middle East food security updates and initiatives
  • Highlighting key food security initiatives of the region
  • Identifying how the MENA countries can support each other and go beyond country-specific food security strategies
  • Overcoming the challenges of production capabilities and other limitations of summer
  • Exploring the available technologies to scale up production

Moderator:
  • Rachid Serraj, Delivery Manager - Regional Initiative on Small Scale Family Farming, Food and Agriculture Organization

Panelists:
  • Sheikh Dr. Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, Partner, Soma Mater, UAE
  • Mona Siblini, Head of the Horticulture and Field Crops Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Lebanon
  • Dr. Ali Mohammad Al-Shaikhi, Director General, Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, KSA
  • Dr. Latifa Dhaouadi, Assistant Professor, Regional Research Center for Oasis Agriculture - CRRAO, Tunisia
  • Shanni Srivastava, Sub Region Head East Africa & Middle East, UPL
11:00 Keynote presentation: UAE’s ambition in becoming a hub for innovation-driven food security
  • Introduction to the UAE food security strategy 
  • Moving towards modern agriculture technology, digital technology, AI, IOT, etc.
  • Current projects in the UAE
  • The road moving forward
Fatema AlMulla, Senior Research Analyst, Food & Water Security Office
11:10 How ADGM and its broader ecosystem helps firms investing in Food Security and AgriTech
Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta, Associate Director, Market Development, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)
11:20 TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION SESSION: Changing the paradigm of agricultural innovation
*This session will highlight key emerging technologies that cater to the MENA Agriculture sector. The session consists of three (10 minute) back-to-back presentations from experts in the industry who will provide insights on successful application of a variety of innovations and case-studies in traditional, modern, organic, and smart farming.
Moderator:
  • Seta Tutundjian, Director of Programs, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture – ICBA

Industry insight 1: The future of irrigation – It’s not just a pivot anymore
  • Trevor Mecham, Vice President of Global Technology Strategy & Industry Relations, Valley Irrigation
Industry insight 2
Chafic Moghrabi, Commercial Manager - Middle East, UPL
Q&A With the presenters
Session 2 Future of Indoor farming in the MENA region
11:55 Fire side chat
Guest: Abdulaziz AlMulla, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Madar Farms

Moderated by Kayan Akram Jaff, Senior Policy Adviser, Food and Agriculture Organization
12:15 TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION SESSION: Indoor farming
*This session will highlight key emerging technologies that cater to the MENA Agriculture sector. The session consists of three (10 minute) back-to-back presentations from experts in the industry who will provide insights on successful application of a variety of innovations and case-studies of indoor farming.
Moderator:
  • Yazen Al Kodmani, Operations Manager, Emirates Bio Farm
Industry insight 1:
  • David Farquhar, Chief Executive Officer, Intelligent Growth Solutions
Industry insight 2:
  • Kyle Wagner, Head of Operations, Madar Farms
Industry insight 3:
  • Dr. Ryan Lefers, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Red Sea Farms
Industry insight 4:
  • Dr. Mohammad Shayesteh, Product Manager for Horticultural Solutions, AGCULTURE

Q&A With the presenters
Session 3 2021 Market outlook: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Producing for the largest population in the Gulf
13:15 Keynote panel discussion: Initiatives and advancements in local production in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Moderator:
  • Kayan Akram Jaff, Senior Policy Adviser, Food and Agriculture Organization

Panelists:
  • Philippos Papageorgiou, Director of Aquaculture, National Fisheries Development Program, KSA
  • Prof. Abdullah M. Alhamdan, Director of CDIT (Chair of Dates Industry and Technology), King Saud University
  • Dr. Ryan Lefers, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Red Sea Farms

Q&A With the presenters
13:55 Closing remark by chairman and end of Digi-Conference
  • Kayan Akram Jaff, Senior Policy Adviser, Food and Agriculture Organization

MENA Food Security Series Sponsorship Opportunities

 

We have a diverse range of sponsorship opportunities available for our MENA Food Security Digi-Conference series. A member of the sponsorship team will work with you to create a bespoke package to suit your businesses objectives.To find out more information emails partnerships@gmevents.ae or call +971 4 568 7800

 
 

Register to Attend

Primary Free of charge
Solution Provider 200 USD + 5% Tax 210 USD

 

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