Food Security Issues & Innovations on the Table at September Urban Agri Summit in Johannesburg

Johannesburg, South Africa – Africa’s increasing concerns for food security to feed its growing populations and sustain economic development are to be tackled head-on by the region’s foremost experts, regulatory authorities and various agriculture industry stakeholders at the Urban Agri Summit 2017 happening on
September 7-8 in Johannesburg.

 

Several agri-sector leaders herald emerging innovative solutions such as vertical farming to address the continent’s increasing need for an adequate and sustainable food supply.

“Vertical Farming will inevitably be Africa`s future pathway to food security and environmental sustainability,” said Aliyu Abdulhameed, Managing Director for the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). “NIRSAL`s participation in Urban Agri Summit 2017 will open new frontiers to better address the multidimensional needs of agricultural value chains in competitive urban agribusiness and food industry.”

Prof Michael Rudolph, Director of the Siyakhana Multipurpose Cooperative, explained: “Vertical farming is becoming an important intervention for African cities as an innovative solution to supplying food, mitigating against air and noise pollution, applying water and energy conservation and combating urban food insecurity. Vertical farming will offer inner city children, youth and adults a chance to reconnect with nature and promote better environment health in the city. The Urban Agri Summit could not have come at a better time for Johannesburg as the city looks for innovative effective and efficient ways for addressing food and nutrition security as well as an environmentally healthy place to live. I look forward to robust discussions and networking with a wide range of key stakeholders during the Summit.”

Mlibo Bantwini, Executive of the Dube AgriZone, added: “The agribusiness sector in Africa has tremendous potential to contribute to economic development and assist in ensuring food security. The use of methods such as vertical faming complemented with other methods of production can play a vital role in ensuring that this potential is fulfilled. We are excited to be part of the Summit. As this will be our first participation at the Summit, we hope to interact with many stakeholders and learn from their insights and build relationships with industry players.”

Various initiatives have already been undertaken by South Africa to spur innovation in its agriculture sector. Together with other Sub-Saharan African cities in Nigeria and Kenya, South African metropolises are joining the footsteps of many global cities to introduce sustainable urban indoor farming. A key to sustainability, however, requires farms streamlining operations and reducing resource wastage.

“Food-producing agriculture value chains must undergo innovation to increase efficiency and yields, enhance variety, and meet the dietary demands of the growing population worldwide. To do so sustainably they must reduce waste and pollution, better manage and conserve water resources, and must be powered by renewable energy and energy efficient systems.” said Nicole Algio, Regional Secretariat Manager for REEEP Clean Energy. She added: “REEEP as an endorsing partner to the Urban Agri Summit 2017, has a deep understanding of specialized research and analysis into the water-energy-food nexus and agrifood value chains globally, and supports climate smart innovation in agriculture such as vertical farming that applies the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency to reduce overall energy consumption of fossil fuels.”

Angel Adelaja, Founder/CEO of Fresh Direct Produce & Agro-Allied Services, takes a fresh approach: “What if Africa no longer needed to import most of its food products, and agricultural value chains were strengthened, profitable, and were able to meet local demands for food without being environmentally tasking? This is my goal for my company Fresh Direct Nigeria and for African Agriculture. With increased urbanization, we need to secure our food systems not only rural agriculture, but with a complement of urban agriculture through technology and community. I’m excited that the Urban Agri Summit will be a gateway to unlock Africa’s potentials through outside the box thinking.”

Urban Agri Summit 2017’s is partnered by Gold Sponsor Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), and is supported by the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) and by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

The two-day Summit will be held at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown, Johannesburg. For more details, contact Jose at +65 6846 2366 or email jose@magenta-global.com.sg or go to http://www.magentaglobalevents.com/urban-agriculture-verticalfarming-cea-africa-summit/.

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