800 agribusinesses, food brands, investors and innovators gather during the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit to discuss innovations and investment in the regions agri-food production.
Organized by UK-based Rethink Events in partnership with global investment company Temasek, the event was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Singapore on 20 November 2019.
The event is a key strategic milestone for Singapore. With a growing urban population and dependency on imported produce for 90 percent of its food consumption, the Singapore Government has zeroed in on the critical need – and opportunity – to be at the forefront of global innovation in sustainable food production models and technologies and become a global centre for agri-food innovation. Regionally, countries face threats to food security, from the effects of climate change to expanding ageing populations there is a need for acceleration of technology to innovate Asia’s agri-food value chain.
Addressing 800 delegates from 42 countries, Rethink Events’ Founder and Managing Director, Jennie Moss said: “For change to happen at scale, we need partnership and collaboration between government, big corporates, start-ups and investors, and that’s why we’re here today – to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas from around the world, and to create an environment in which new connections can take root and flourish.”
Anuj Maheshwari, Managing Director of Agribusiness at Temasek, added: “Collective and urgent effort is needed across the agri-food value chain. Asia faces big challenges in meeting the demand for more food, better food and more sustainable food. New innovations and technologies present exciting opportunities to address these needs, and we hope that this week will spark thought, action and collaboration to meet the Asia food challenge.”
Over the three-day event the C-level delegate audience from 42 countries shared their knowledge and experience, in agri-food technology development and commercialisation. Over 130 speakers also showcased the latest solutions that are disrupting the agri-food system.
The events on the first day provided opportunities for technology to reinvent agriculture across Southeast Asia, from drones, sensors, robotics and use of machine-learning, these new technologies look to support farmers to grow better quality crops and achieve more sustainable livelihoods. The second day of the event shifted the focus on indoor farming, this included urban and indoor grown leafy greens. Topics revolving around sustainable aquaculture were also brought to light, other insights to the market potential for cell-based meats and new developments in plant-based proteins were also covered.
The event closed on the 22nd of November 2019 with discussions on the impending health crisis in Asia and how seeking better alternatives to sugar and sweeteners as well as fortification of foods and preventative nutrition will help reduce the prevalence of diet-related chronic disease.
With its vibrant growing community of start-ups and entre-preneurs, alongside an established financial community and world-leading R&D facilities, Singapore is poised to lead the world in finding solutions to achieve food security, sustainability and health. [APBN]