Israel's exports of high-intensity technology imply a growth of almost more than 10-fold, coming from $12.4 billion dollars in 1990 to $101.3 billion in 2019. "Technology mostly implies agrotechnology solutions," says Edouard Cukierman, Managing Partner at Catalyst Funds.
Recently, the 'GoforUAE-Israel Food Security Investment Conference' was virtually held. Edouard Cukierman kicked off the event with some opening remarks and by welcoming the attendees. He highlighted that in 2019, 46% of Israel's export of goods and services by technological intensity comes from the high-tech industry.
Israel's exports in 1990 and 2019 in terms of technology
The panel discussion on 'How the Israeli Agritech sector helps address UAE food security challenges' Haggai Ravid, CEO of Cukierman & Co. Investment House led the discussion. One of the joining panelists was Oshrat Maya, CFO (the Middle East & Africa) of Netafim. Netafim started as farmers in the desert in a kibbutz, then the company started focusing on innovation. "We struggled to grow crops in the drought which inspired us to think differently and find new ways to grow," says Oshrat. The growers didn't have large water reserves which forced them to cultivate with as little water as possible.
"We are understanding where our customers come from, gathering all insights from several growers. We're in the process of establishing our office in the UAE and we're in the process of getting our subsidiaries in the country. The agreement has given a great opportunity for Netafim to penetrate another market and we'd like to accelerate this momentum within the region," says Oshrat.
An impression of the panel discussion
Salvatore Lavallo, Head of Foreign Direct Investment Office said that the company has two main goals in terms of agriculture. "The first one being, food security and within the food security looking at new technology in farms, upscaling them through new types of agriculture. Then, finding new forms of production through indoor- and vertical farms, combined with the production of alternative proteins and cell-based meats," says Salvatore.
An important part of food security, which the company thinks is a global problem, is that the UAE has the resources to tackle the problem so that eventually the solution can be exported from Abu Dhabi to the rest of the world. "We want to bring new technology to local production. We're looking at technologies that can really provide Abu Dhabi to become a hub for desert and climate agriculture, to be able to export that around the world."
Salvatore says that the office is looking at any technology that will be able to address these goals. "We'll Individualize with each company, as a market catalyzer to push these market opportunities forward in-land and across the world." We're looking at agriculture from a lot of different angles, such as precision agriculture, aquaculture and space agriculture. In this way, we're trying to build a hub of support in desert and arid climate in agriculture.
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Cukierman & Co. Investment House Ltd.
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