Day 1: Tuesday October 31

Welcome Breakfast
Hosted by:

Opening Remarks

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.

Ministerial Keynote Address
Opening Keynote Address

Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder and Group CEO, OLAM GROUP, Singapore

Building Resilience: Food Security at the Intersection of Agriculture, Water and Climate
  • 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

Decarbonisation: Forging the Roadmap for Emissions Reduction from Food and Agriculture Systems
  • 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

Networking Coffee Break
Hosted by:
Ecosystem Building: Extending South-South Cooperation and Connecting the Dots across the APAC Region
  • 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

Fireside // From Traditional to Future Food: Enabling the Transition to a Sustainable Food System
  • 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

Networking Lunch Break
Enabling the Transition to Sustainable Smallholder Farming
  • 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

Lightning Talks // Exploring the Impact of AI on Agriculture
  • 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

Networking Coffee Break
Investing from Farm to Fork in the Current Economic Climate
  • 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

The Pitch Hour // Future of Agriculture

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.

Drinks Reception

Day 2: Wednesday November 1

Welcoming Keynote Address
Developing Carbon Markets for the Agri-Food Sector
  • As carbon markets were originally designed for sectors other than agriculture, how can carbon programs be developed that embrace the nuances of the agri-food sector?
  • How do we leverage innovation, new business models and data to reward farmers for environmental protection? What new partnership opportunities are forming across the value chain?
  • What tools and technologies will be key to helping farmers in Southeast Asia access carbon markets? What are the latest developments in monitoring and measuring soil carbon, and how can this be achieved affordably and at scale?
  • Are there certain factors that make for a high-quality ag carbon credit? Are they a successful incentive for growers?

Ling Min Hoon, Director, Investments, GENZERO, Singapore

Aadith Moorthy, Founder and CEO, BOOMITRA, India
Wyn Ellis, Executive Director, SUSTAINABLE RICE PLATFORM, Thailand
Mikkel Larsen, CEO, CLIMATE IMPACT X, Singapore
Jon Baravir, Rivulis Climate Director, RIVULIS IRRIGATION, Israel

Lightning Talks // Smart Farming Solutions: Growing More with Less
  • Farmers are at the forefront of climate change. How can digital solutions support farmers to maintain and improve productivity, getting the maximum out of an average of two hectares of land?
  • How can the latest technologies in sensing, IoT and AI be utilised for a more predictive, precise, connected approach to agriculture? Are 5G networks where they need to be across the broader region?
  • How is data empowering better decision making at the farm level? Which technologies provide real-time analysis of insect infestations, and nutrient deficiencies? How can we ensure accuracy?
  • Looking ahead – what’s next for this area of innovation? How will these tools address labour shortages, and what new level of expertise will be required on the farm level to manage data and autonomous machinery?

Justin Gong, Co-Founder and SVP, XAG, China
Aiman Syed Jaafar, CEO, FARMBYTE, Malaysia

Networking Coffee Break
Fireside // Biologicals: Harnessing Nature for Greater Resilience
  • How do biological inputs feed into regenerative agriculture systems, and what barriers to adoption are we seeing? How can we ensure their accessibility and affordability for smallholder farmers?
  • How has the war in Europe impacted the sale of fertilisers in Asia? What has that meant for the adoption of alternative biostimulants? How could this shift impact a farmer’s income?
  • What are the challenges in delivering these solutions at scale? How can products be optimised for different regions or systems? What is the impact of product shelf life?
  • Are regulators affecting the scale-up of biologicals development? Do biologicals provide an easier or faster route to market than new synthetic chemicals? How are corporations and new players entering the market positioning their products?

Shailendra Mishra, Head of Climate, Environment, and Natural Capital, OLAM GROUP, Singapore

The Role of Biotechnology in Achieving Food Security
  • What does the future hold for biotechnology in agri-food? What is its role in achieving food security?
  • How could this area of innovation pull smallholders out of poverty who are growing in climate-stricken areas? How can high impact solutions such as CRISPR be integrated and scaled into more sustainable farming systems across Asia?
  • Where are the opportunities to bring both ends of the value chain together from seed through to processing to drive greater efficiencies through the whole system?
  • What crops are coming that will enable long term resilience/nutrition?
  • Has public opinion on gene editing changed in recent years with the potential benefits of growing with less fertilisers and less water?

Ritu Verma, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, ANKUR CAPITAL, India

Inez Slamet-Loedin, Head – Rice Genetic Design & Validation Unit, IRRI, Philippines
Bhupen Dubey, Global CEO, ADVANTA SEEDS, India
Gengchen Han, Chairman, ORIGIN AGRITECH, China

Breakout Roundtable Discussions

One of the most interactive sessions of the programme, each roundtable discussion group is hosted by an industry expert on a specific theme offering you a valuable opportunity to network, brainstorm solutions and discuss ideas with your peers on shared areas of interest.

Networking Lunch Break
Lightning Talks // Agri-Fintech: Platforms De-Risking Finance for Smallholders
  • As the realities of climate change reveal themselves across the APAC region, how are agri-fintech solutions helping smallholders to navigate the risks of weather-related production challenges?
  • How are technologies arriving at the farm gate? What new business models and collaborations are being created to make field services accessible to both large enterprise and smallholder farms?
  • How is data changing the way farmers engage with finance and insurance providers? To what extent are traditional financial institutions adopting these new data driven technologies?
  • How is agri-fintech creating a more connected, streamlined, and transparent value chain? How are marketplace platforms evolving?
  • How can governments take steps to ensure they are securing a reliable food supply for their country during a time of unstable interest rates?
Investment Models Driving AgTech Innovation in APAC
  • What have been the leading investment trends in agtech over the past year? As one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, what have we seen across the APAC region specifically?
  • What opportunities are venture funds targeting and what new categories are emerging and starting to gain traction?
  • How do VCs currently select the solutions they invest in? What is the formula? How much influence is taken from the reality of farmers in this region? If adoption is slow, are we investing in the right tech?
  • What does impact investing look like to investors through the lens of precision agriculture and sustainable farming? How do we measure and create a currency of impact?

Maarten Goossens, Founding Partner, ANTERRA CAPITAL, Netherlands
Ian Sikora, Executive Director, OPEN SPACE VENTURES, Singapore
Bharat Vasan, Partner and COO, THE PRODUCTION BOARD, USA
Lesly Goh, Senior Technology Advisor,THE WORLD BANK, Indonesia
Leow Li-Vern, Director of Investments, SEVIORA, Singapore

Networking Coffee Break
Agri-Entrepreneurs: Championing the Next Generation of Farmers
  • As demand for food grows and the younger generations relocate to cities – who are the future food producers for SEA? Will we see a decline in the current smallholder model?
  • How do we inspire, educate and motivate the next generation of farmers? How are the livelihoods of farmers improving through innovation? What further incentives will encourage talent into ag?
  • Young farmers are the climate champions of the future. What is the role of agropreneurs in driving agricultural reformation and development?
  • How can the tools being developed now support the digital and financial literacy of the farmers tomorrow? How do we innovate differently for farmers in different geographies?

Cindy Bian, Trade Hub Manager, JOHN DEERE, Singapore
Amy Melissa Chua, Country Director, PPSA, Phillippines

The Pitch Hour // Future of Food

Meet our pick of the most exciting food-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.

Drinks Reception