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Godrej stresses on technological innovations to meet global food challenges and save environment

, TNN|
Nov 20, 2019, 03.10 PM IST
SINGAPORE: 'Innovations will find the way, innovations will save the day,' Nadir Godrej, chairman, Godrej Agrovet, while delivering his speech poetically in his signature style at the second 'The Asia-Pacific Agri-food innovation week' in the city during the inaugural session of the three-day summit beginning on Wednesday stressed on finding new means and methods to face the global food challenges and related environmental issues.

The summit has been organized by UK-based Rethink Events and global investment company Temasek, headquartered at Singapore, to provide platforms to brainstorm on technological innovations and investments in Asia's agri-food chain between November 20-22. Around 800 delegates and over 130 speakers from 42 countries will meet to share their technological findings and exchange concepts.

Deputy prime minister of Singapore Heng Swee Keat, also the finance minister, will remain present at the summit too. Temasek, PwC and Rabobank will present 'The Asia Food challenge report' in the presence of the Dy PM.

Godrej, also Managing director of the Godrej groups, stole the show with his poetic expressions on the issues of food challenges. "Indeed there is so much charm, in reducing waste on the farm," he said as his verses flowed. The senior Indian industrialist stressed on collaborating rather than competing to find solutions to various problems related to food challenges, various positive nuances of agri-food as a environmen saviour and also need to develop food technologies. "We are not much away from the day when there would be 'cultured meat', 'cultured milk' and 'single cell protein'," he said.

Godrej was preceded by Senior minister of state for trade and industry, Koh Poh Koon who highlighted that indoor vertical farming and insect farming will be two among several new techniques nurtured at the upcoming 'Food innovations park'. He assured of assistance from Singapore government especially economic support.

John Vaske, head of the Temasek international's agri-business, said during the opening key address, said Asia is urbanising faster than any other region and there would be huge opportunity to generate new solutions to secure Asia’s food security. "How can we increase yields, reduce the environmental impact, and feed the population sustainably?" said Vaske underlining the theme of the summit. He also said that some of these solutions will be high tech, such as, alternative proteins, vertical farms and gene editing.

Vaske also stressed that urban consumers also have increasingly complex food requirements who are no longer satisfied with food for just bodily sustenance, they are demanding. "There is a demand for more healthy, nutritious, safe and sustainable food. Recognising this, we have invested in alternative protein startups, Impossible Foods and Perfect Day, as well as high tech indoor farming companies, Sustenir and Bowery," he said.

Vaske, while addressing, also said that there is also more upstream opportunities in the supply chains for food production. "Technology can be used to improve the quality of crops. For example, our portfolio company VoloAgri breeds better vegetable seeds using plant genetics, while Pivot Bio, is using microbes to self-fertilize crops instead of using nitrogen fertilizers," he said.
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