Report: Can agri-tech offer sustainable solutions to GCC food security challenges?

Food production in the GCC has long faced obstacles ranging from water scarcity to a lack of arable soil – factors that are being exacerbated by climate change. Prior to Covid-19, imports accounted for 85% of the region’s collective food needs. However, the disruption to global supply chains precipitated by the pandemic – as well as the more recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia – has underlined the need to invest in production capacity and supportive technological solutions. Large pools of public funds are being channelled towards enhancing the ecosystems for innovation in agri-tech and food production. At the same time, well-established food companies are increasingly open to M&A and partnership opportunities to boost production. While the investment potential in agri-tech in the GCC is considerable, investors are also mindful of the inherent sustainability risks. With climate change worsening the environment for agriculture, and the food industry contributing around 30% of global carbon emissions, new technologies will be important not only for mitigating existing risk, but also for generating sustainable approaches to cultivating natural resources.

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