The future of Agriculture and Food Tech
Agtech and Foodtech is all the rage.
What is driving this? In this blog, I highlight some of the issues, challenges, trends, and what is needed for a more sustainable future.
World population growth, Environment Poverty & Global Hunger — The Gaps:
· The high global population growth rate demands more food, more fruits, vegetables, and staple crops.
· This production should be where most of the growth occurs — Africa, Asia, Latin America.
· This additional production should be done without disrupting the environment.
· Livelihood of 2 billion depends on smallholders’ farmers.
· Poverty increasing despite Technology + Money
Currently, Innovation is being driven by the following motivations.
1. Farming efficiency in 1st world countries
2. Water use
3. Ethical concerns of breeding animals for meat, milk or eggs
4. Environmental concerns about methane gas emissions by cows
I am not going to elaborate on all the wonderful initiatives, big market caps driven by some exciting innovations being led by some Israelis companies. Soil management, Farming Apps, and the start of Blockchain initiatives to track the supply chain, automated picking, vertical farming, alternative meats, eggs, and milk.
However, what is not being adequately addressed is.
1. Our consumption habits
2. Food Waste
4. The relationship of health to our food choices
5. Healthier spray-free fruits and vegetables
6. High infestation rates in Fruit Trees
7. World hunger — smallholder farmer poverty.
8. Solutions that can help these smallholder farmers
9. Farm to the Table
This needs to be part of the discussion. Education and awareness for ourselves and children is a priority.
So, let's dive down into these issues:
Consumption and Food waste
We live in the consumer age — we over-consume We like to travel, eat a good steak, own more than one car or property. Are we conscious of how buying or eating impacts the environment?
Today, around 30% of methane emissions are due to gas emissions from around 1.5 billion cows that are being used to produce milk and meat (1). So, should all become vegans? Today the alternative meat, milk, eggs, and more are all the rage.
What about fish? –approx. 50% of all fish caught is discarded.
Just look at this is an extreme and sic example,” Look carefully: these fins should be attached to the ultimate Apex Predator — the shark. I almost choked when I read those 1/4 million sharks are killed EVERY DAY for the sole purpose of making shark fin soup” Stephen Fern of https://ark2030.org
The Restoration of Oceans is a critical landmark program in our battle to end the climate crisis and the destruction of ecosystems that support life on earth. Restoring global whale populations is the equivalent of planting 100 billion trees.
More than 200 million animals are killed for food around the world every day — just on land. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily. That comes out to 72 billion land animals and over 1.2 trillion aquatic animals killed for food around the world every year. Anywhere between 37 and 120 billion fish are killed on commercial farms each year, with another trillion fish caught and killed in the wild.
Food Waste — The cost of food waste in the UK is GBP 10.2 billion, in Israel, net US$ 4 Billion the USA a staggering $161 billion. This has both huge Environmental & social impact.
I refer to my blog https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/food-waste-a-key-battlefront-for-climate-change to learn more about this and some of the wonderful initiatives of Leket https://www.leket.org/en who not only have practical solutions to reduce food waste but publish an annual report on the state of food waste in Israel. https://www.leket.org/en/food-waste-and-rescue-report
What we eat, how much we buy can make a difference. Sometimes we do have a choice, but there are some things that are not in control.
So, the question of who is responsible is complex — For example, should one donate money to offset the Co2 when you fly? or drive?.
Is buying an Electric Car such a big advantage, CO2 saving over gas cars? They still need electricity to be recharged, metal components and battery disposal is an issue.
What about plastic? — Today there are good recycling options. Look at https://www.ubqmaterials.com and Israel company recycling plastic.
What about when buy or receive a Newspaper with all that waste of paper? In today’s digital world, why do we still need printed newspapers and magazines?
It is easy to blame the companies and products we consume, but our choices as consumers do make a difference.
Let’s also have a quick look at waste in the farming process caused by infestation.
With all the excesses of consumption choices we still have the problem of World poverty and hunger — smallholder farmer poverty.
There are numerous blockchain initiatives that are looking to track the food chain. Here is one example.
Healthier spray-free, better-tasting fruits, and vegetables
You will be shocked that what eat is sprayed with unhealthy sprays.
Pesticides can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants.
The relationship between our food choices/lack of food to disease and poverty- Questions?
Are we eating unhealthy fruit and vegetables and this is giving rise to illness?
· Is there a direct relationship between reduced consumption of milk in China and a lower rate of cancer?
· Does the spraying of pesticides increase disease?
For further elaboration
So, is what are some of the solutions. I share some Initiatives that can make a difference.
Education / Israel as the Impact or Scale-up Nation
At the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Scotland, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pledged to mobilize Israel’s startup ecosystem to fight climate change.
Well, I am happy to play my part in this pledge. I am encouraging the set up of an Israel Innovation Environment Centre.
THIS CAN BE A MODEL THAT SHOULD BE SET UP IN MANY COUNTRIES
The Israel Innovation Environment Centre will be a showcase of leading Israel Environment Innovation connecting Israeli Innovation & Global climate change challenges:
Ø Tell the story of Israel’s global environment impact
Ø Education — our food and consumption choices
Ø Showcasing new Innovation
Ø Collaborate with Players in the Eco-System
Ø The building itself will be sustainable and demonstrate many components
Ø PR and Marketing of Innovation and Proven Solutions — Export Centre
Ø Share this Innovation to the world by creating real Project and Investment opportunities
The Centre will be a magnet for Environment Education hosting schools and other groups.
Improving the Agriculture supply chain transforming Agriculture To Agro-industry
Green Valley is making a fundamental improvement in the Agriculture change supply chain by creating Agro Businesses enabling small farmers in Africa, Asia, and South America to increase quality and quantity and higher income by exporting these to 1st world countries
What is the problem? Fruit flies infests in excess of 50% of production making farming uneconomical.
They solve this in 3 steps:
The result is:
· increase of farmer income of at least 500%
· Healthy and better-tasting fruits
· Sustainable Agro Business
Green Valley is active in deploying this in Senegal in our 2,500-hectare venture and have traction in Ghana, Kenya, India, and Australia.
They are looking to raise funds to make an immediate impact to increase farmers' income while generating a healthy profit for Green Valley and Investors.
I invite you to learn in more detail about Dr. Nimrod and his unique solution and approach, I truly believe Green Valley can make a real global impact and a real change in the livelihood of thousands of people in the fight against poverty and a more secure sustainable income.
If you want to make a difference in the fight for poverty, provide financial backing as part of your company ESG footprint, help find investors, become an investor, or partner with Green Valley or other initiatives then reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org