Gulfood, the world’s largest food and beverage (F&B) trade show, brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders every February in Dubai. The 2023 version met north of 5,000 organizations, displaying 100,000 new items from in excess of 125 nations.
On the biggest stage in the industry, the exhibition is a chance to make deals, form partnerships, and announce new products.
However, attendees of Gulfood also seek an answer to a crucial human question through its talks, Gulfood Green and Foodverse initiatives, and even the podcast “Let’s Chew”: how might the world get its future food supply?
There’s an explanation Gulfood is facilitated in Dubai. The emirate has emerged as the MENA epicenter for food and beverage innovation, driven by the UAE National Food Security Strategy 2051.
The technique looks to push the UAE to the highest point of Worldwide Food Security File by 2051, mainly by changing the country from a net merchant of food into a significant rural focus.
That objective necessitates significant investment and inventiveness in a number of interconnected and increasingly important fields: working on rural yields, while limiting cultivating’s ecological effect, and decreasing food and water squander in an undeniably difficult environment. In summary: a full-scale unrest in how food is created and disseminated.
In Dubai, that upset is directed by information. The Food Security Dashboard of the emirate makes use of AI-powered analytics to measure availability, consumption, and local production in order to support short-term and long-term investments. Dubai’s commitment to public-private partnerships as a path to food security is demonstrated by the National Farm Sustainability Initiative, which connects major food companies with local farmers and directs the government to purchase local produce.
Al Islami Foods’ Managing Director and Chairman of the Dubai-based UAE Food & Beverage Manufacturers Group, Saleh Lootah, asserts, “Government cannot do it alone.” They think that the private sector can help a lot by working with the government to overcome these obstacles.
Also, future arrangements are upheld by the Food Security Exploration Stage – where farming trend-setters can unreservedly share thoughts – close by the Emirates Advancement Bank’s AgriTech Credits, which offers monetary help for creative agtech projects.
This mix of venture and backing has cultivated a prospering environment of organizations utilizing imaginative strategies to support Dubai’s food supplies.
Krispr, a Dubai-based agtech startup that cultivates leafy greens in its indoor vertical farm on the outskirts of Dubai, is led by Khadija Hasan as CEO.
She says the organization’s central goal is to decouple cultivating from its conventional factors like soil, environment, temperature, and water, bringing it inside, “so we can address food creation gives that we are progressively seeing a direct result of environmental change and different factors in metropolitan urban communities specifically.”
Numerous advantages are provided by vertical farming, in which produce is grown in vertical stacks while consuming less land than in a field. One is an impeccably controlled developing climate. The alternative is a much more resource-effective approach. Hasan makes sense of that in any event, while utilizing accuracy water system outside, “a large portion of the supplements get retained in the dirt.” Plant roots at Krispr’s farm are suspended in midair, allowing for precise feeding and watering. As new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) emerge, harvesting data to optimize the farming process and employing robotic “farmers” to carry out algorithmic instructions, the strategy will only become more effective.
Despite the fact that the company’s current focus is on easy-to-grow herb and leafy greens, Hasan states that these are “gateway products… Ultimately our objective is to graduate upwards and do [crops like] tomatoes,” which is in line with the government’s goals for agricultural self-sufficiency.
Krispr is essential for a developing local area of vertical ranchers in Dubai, including the world’s biggest vertical homestead, Yield One. Additionally, they are joined by a group of other food and beverage innovators from the emirate and abroad.
Cultivation in Cooperative Mode
We were essential for the Mohammed container Rashid gas pedal last year,” says Hasan. Startups, their founders, mentors, and government agencies are all connected through the accelerator.
She goes on to say, “We’ve been very lucky… We’ve had experienced people on board who have helped us with things like financial models, getting access to our customers, and getting access to potential mentors and investors.” Different graduated class incorporate new companies investigating vertical cultivating, aquaponic cultivating, and artificial intelligence controlled ranch the executives.
What’s more, Food Tech Valley will before long bunch agtech pioneers in an actual space. The task intends to significantly increase Dubai’s food creation by bringing each component of the food production network under one rooftop: from logistics and a shopping area to R&D and indoor farming.
Dubai is working with partners across borders in addition to cultivating this ecosystem domestically. The Future Food Discussion – co-facilitated by Dubai Chambers and the UAE F&B Business Gathering – is a meeting devoted to settling food manageability and import dependence in MENA, gathering C-suite pioneers and F&B industry speakers from across the district.
It is a point of convergence in Dubai’s more extensive endeavors to advance intra-territorial exchange, as well as to share developments and innovation. ” You develop by sharing information,” says Lootah.