Saudi venture capitalist Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed called for more investment in budding businesses and technologies that can help address food security challenges that the world faces.
"Governments see the problem, but now they need to adopt the innovative technologies to solve the problem," Prince Khaled said at a panel discussion with company chief executives at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Sky Kurtz of Pure Harvest, Sara Menker of GroIntel, Philippe Rombaut of Agropolychim, and David Rosenberg of Aero Farms took part in the session. Wastefulness and inefficiency of traditional animal agriculture attracted Prince Khaled to alternative protein and food-tech investments, he said.
Vertical farming and AgriTech need more investment, said Prince Khaled, who is the first venture capitalist from the Middle East to back plant-based food and future food start-ups.
"We are running out of farmland," he said. "Cellular agriculture merits more investment to feed the world. We have enough food to feed people, it's just, how do you grow the food and where do you allocate these resources?" Prince Khaled said.
He aims to revolutionize the foodservice industry by introducing vegan options on menus in the kingdom and across the region.