Day 1: Tuesday October 31
A warm welcome to the 2023 Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit. Hear from the Rethink Events team on the key themes for this year’s summit, and what you can look forward to over the next three days.
Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder and Group CEO, OLAM GROUP, Singapore
- As climate change increasingly impacts the stability of food production and distribution, what strategies and solutions have the greatest potential to build the
resilience of today’s food system? Where does agri-food-tech fit in the climate adaptation vs mitigation discussion?
- How can healthier, more sustainable food production practices support the long-term health of our soils, rivers and oceans? How can agri-food stakeholders collaborate to optimise the impact of new technologies in open-field agriculture, CEA, alternative proteins and aquaculture?
- How can the industry drive increased investment to support climate-smart agriculture and innovation in the food system? How do climate-smart practices contribute to improving outcomes related to climate change, nature conservation, and farmer economics?
Jessica Cheam, Founder & Managing Director, ECO-BUSINESS, Singapore
Ho Ren Hua, Director CEO, THAI WAH, Thailand
Anuj Maheshwari, Managing Director & Head of Agri-Food, TEMASEK, Singapore
Joseph Taets, Senior Vice President and President of APAC, ADM, Singapore
- Food production accounts for over a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. How can we accelerate momentum on the commitments made by major agri-food players to reduce emissions from food and agriculture systems? What unique partnerships are forming?
- Is there consensus on the goals being set and how to achieve them? Does the agri-food sector have a clear roadmap to work from? As the impact of food systems moves up the agenda at policy meetings, how can we forge a roadmap for decarbonisation that mirrors that of the energy sector?
- How are companies across the value chain going to reach decarbonisation goals? How are investment trends shifting as we assess the rate of adoption for new solutions?
- Rice cultivation makes up 12% of global methane emissions – how are new innovations and partnership addressing this? What is the role of regenerative agriculture and who is leading the charge introducing these regenerative agricultural practices?
- To what extent are metrics being quantified, tracked, measured, and compared regarding progress?
Richard Skinner, Deals Strategy & Operations (DS&O) + Value Creation, Asia Pacific, PWC, Singapore
Dhruv Sawhney, CEO, RIZE, India
Suzanne Gaboury, Director-General Private Sector Operations, ADB, Singapore
- What synergies and collaboration opportunities exist across borders in APAC? How can countries like China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, amongst others, benefit from each other’s strengths?
- What are the unique challenges and solutions for the APAC region? How does the need for agri-food investment and innovation differ to that of Europe and North America? What unique collaborations do we see as a result?
- How does south-south cooperation provide solidarity in the face of global challenges? What initiatives are we seeing to promote cooperation with South America, the Middle East and Africa?
- How are public-private partnerships (PPPs) currently supporting the APAC agri-food sector? What has been their role in creating greater collaboration across the ecosystem? How can we work to strengthen PPPs to support emerging innovation and bring more solutions to market?
Diane Holdorf, Executive Vice President, WBCSD – WORLD BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, Switzerland
Beverley Postma, Executive Director, GROW ASIA, Singapore
Simone Barg, Senior VP, Agricultural Solutions Asia Pacific, BASF, Singapore
Julie Greene, CSO, OLAM AGRI, Singapore
Laurent Levan, SVP Corporate Development, External Affairs, Asia-Pacific, UNIVERSAL ROBINA CORPORATION, Singapore
- Looking ahead to 2030 and beyond, how will consumer diets change and what will the impact be on Asia’s food system? What food production models will dominate the market? How are investment trends shifting as a result?
- Has traditional agriculture reached its limit in terms of scale? How is novel food production helping to subsidise traditional forms of food production to feed a growing population? How can traditional and novel work more closely?
- How can we find a balance that combines new and traditional farming methods, to increase yields, support farmers’ profits, and improve soil health and responsible water use?
- Which milestones will the alternative protein and CEA industries achieve by the end of the decade and what role will Asia’s megacities play in feeding the next billion?
- Can the ecosystem work synergistically to reduce carbon emissions and scale sustainable food production in Asia? What will collaboration and investment models look like?
Samuel Chan, Head of AgriFood & Americas, EDB, Singapore
Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO, ALEPH FARMS, Israel
Francesca Kleemans, Managing Director, Food Solutions for South-East Asia, CARGILL, Singapore
- With over 450 million smallholder farmers producing 80% of the region’s food, what does sustainability look like from a farming perspective in Asia?
- Smallholders can’t afford to be big risk-takers. How can industry better support their transition to more sustainable products and practices? From regenerative practices to biological pest control, which solutions are gaining traction with regional farmers?
- How are agri-businesses innovating to meet the needs of farmers in this region right now? How is agricultural policy and regulation in the region impacting the pace of innovation for new agri solutions?
Erika Balzarelli, Founder, THE SUSTAINABLE SMALLHOLDER, Singapore
Alexander Berkovskiy, APAC Regional Director, SYNGENTA, Singapore
Siritep Siriwanhom, Farmer and Chairman, CASSAVA FARMING GROUP, Thailand
Ramanarayanan Mahadevan, CEO, JIVA, Singapore
- AI has progressed hugely in the last two years and promises to revolutionise entire industries. What are the opportunities for AI to revolutionise agriculture?
- How can AI be implemented at the farm level? What are the opportunities to utilise AI for data and farm management?
- How is ChatGPT already being used to bridge the knowledge gap between farmers and experts? What examples are we seeing for smallholders in India? Is the information accurate?
- What is the cost of providing these services? Can these tools be monetised? What is the incentive for big tech companies to develop these services for agriculture?
- There are cautionary tales and risks associated with AI. When it comes to the ethics surrounding AI, what factors should be carefully considered?
Pratik Desai, Founder, KISSAN GPT, USA/India
Krishnan Pallassana, Managing Director, India Programmes and Lead for South Asia, DIGITAL GREEN, India
Stewart Collis, Senior Program Officer, Digital Solutions, Agricultural Development, BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION, USA
Firdaus Asari, Vice President, Group Digital, SIME DARBY PLANTATION BERHAD, Malaysia
- Given the current economic situation globally, how is investment in agri-food and sustainable food production fairing? What has been the impact on fundraising in Asia?
- Are investments matching consumer demand? Where billions of dollars have flowed into drones, satellites, precision management, automation, digital tools, and alternative proteins – are we seeing the level of adoption initially forecasted?
- As valuations decline and the sources of capital change, how will early-stage companies survive? Which categories of tech are rising to the top, and how should founders think about where they source capital going forward?
- How are agri-food investors viewing opportunities in this sector? What lessons could be shared with generalists starting to invest in the agri-food sector? Where should they be setting their sights?
- As VCs scout the next agri-food-tech unicorn from Asia – what can be learnt from innovators like eFishery and DeHaat? What has made them so successful? What sets them apart from others?
Nitza Kardish, CEO, TRENDLINES AGRIFOOD, Singapore
Michael Dean, Founding Partner, AGFUNDER, Australia
Kiersten Stead, Managing Partner, DCVC BIO, USA
Marie Cheong, Founding Partner, WAVEMAKER IMPACT, Singapore
Meet our pick of the most exciting agri-tech innovators in Asia-Pacific. Each presenting company will pitch to a panel of investors, who are keen to ask questions and dig deeper into their value proposition.