AgraME Conference 2021

The AgraME Conference will take place in-person at the Dubai World Trade Center and will be available online on-demand after the event.

9:00 - 9:30

Registration and Morning Exhibition Visit

10:00 - 10:30

Promoting Agri-Entrepreneurship and Building a Strategic Alignment Between Government and Corporates  

This session investigates how to promote innovation and communication to drive growth in the agricultural sector. Throughout 2020 and the challenges it brought, governments and corporates were forced to remain agile and innovate. This remains an important aspect throughout disaster recovery and looking ahead for the industry. This session discusses:  

  • How governments and corporates can create an open innovation ecosystem and future proof innovation  
  • Strategies for aligning your business model to government enablers  
  • Clear communication, branding and relation strategies when working with third parties, including stakeholders, corporates, start-ups and investors  
  • How to ensure your innovation venture is properly integrated into your core business proposition  

Henry Gordon-Smith, Founder and CEO, Agritecture   

10:35 - 11:10

Open Discussion: Promoting and Empowering Women and the Next Generation in Agriculture and Science   

Christine Zimmermann-Lössl, Chairwoman, Association for Vertical Farming 

Henry Gordon-Smith, Founder and CEO, Agritecture 




11:45 - 12:15

Food Tech Valley: Food Tech Zone Addressing Food Security 

  • 18mill sq ft integrated zone for food tech industry  
  • Developed under the leadership of the Minister of Climate Change and Environment of UAE 
  • Includes food production & logistics zones, Business Park, Innovation Center, R&D Center, Academy 
  • Targets all industry stakeholders locally, regionally and internationally 

Ahmed Ghazi Alshaibani, Head of Design Strategy & Innovation, Food Tech Valley, Wasl Group Jana Elkova, Strategy & Ecosystem Development Specialist, Food Tech Valley, Wasl Group 

12:15 - 12:40

Networking Break and Exhibition Visit

12:40 - 1:10

Utilising AI and Precision Farming to Analyse and Improve Crop Performance 

  • With the development of modestly priced, while still highly accurate, precision farming technology is becoming increasingly available on the markets, smaller farms are now able to improve crop performance and quality as well as increase their return on investment. During this session we will be: 
  • Looking into some key examples of precision farming technologies and how they can be implemented easily and cheaply 
  • Discussing how to efficiently analyse crop performance and measure improvements 
  • How governments and legislators can encourage and incentivise local farmers to adopt new, sustainable technologies 
  • What key farms have been doing to maximise the technology and innovatively improve performance  

Prof. Dr. Abdel-Aziz Belal, Professor of Soil Sciences and Precision Farming, Head of Agriculture Application, Soil and Marine Division, National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS) 

1:15 - 1:45

Efficient Controlled Agriculture Environments: Vertical Farming in the MENA Region 

This session investigates efficient urban farming practices that consider space and resource constraints. With new emerging Controlled Agriculture Environment technologies becoming more accessible and the development of established farming practices in the region, vertical farming and hydroponics are a vital step toward urban farming and food sustainability. Our expert speaker will discuss:

  • The challenges and lessons learnt while running vertical and hydroponic farms  
  • Alternative methods for effective irrigation and circulation in controlled environments  
  • Methods and practical operation tips to reduce water and power consumption 
  • Which crops perform well using these farming environments and which have failed

 Muhammad Umer Rabbani, Agriculture Engineer, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority 


Leading the Agriculture Industry Through Uncertain Times to a Sustainable, Secure Future 

With the COVID-19 pandemic shaking the world, bringing with it new restrictions and challenges, the importance of biosecurity, food sustainability and efficient use of resources, has become increasingly vital for countries worldwide. The global pandemic has revealed fundamental flaws in food systems and highlighted the fragility of global food supply chains. During this panel session we will be: 

  • Reflecting on the challenges and opportunities that the pandemic has brought to the industry 
  • Discussing how the agriculture and food industry has been disrupted throughout the past year in terms of shifting trends and how different companies, sectors and governments have responded to the implications of the pandemic 
  • Strategies to feed the world during global pandemics and climate change and what leadership should be doing to protect the regions food security 

Shaikh Dr. Majid Al Qassimi, Partner & Co-founder of Soma Mater, Soma Mater 

2:30 - 3:00

Case Study: Automation, Robotics and Analytics in Controlled Environments (Pre-Recorded)

  • Introducing the GravityFlow system for automated plant production 
  • Introducing the PhotoSystem Chamber for automated data harvesting 

Per Lysaa, CEO of Intravision Group and CTO of Elevate Farms 

End of Day 1

10:00 - 10:30

Achieving Sustainable and Innovative Aquaculture Practices

Over the past 50 years, aquaculture has sustained a global growth and continues to grow increasingly as consumption increases and to compensate for the declining fisheries. Aquaculture is an important production sector for food security therefore, sustainable strategies, practices and environmentally friendly innovation and technologies are more important than ever. This session will focus on:

  • Exploring new sustainable technologies improving aquaculture environments, including details such as cage culture, fish processing and nutrient and data processing
  • Engaging dialog around feed, including original feed ingredients and improved feed efficiency as well as feeding systems and best management practice
  • Analysing fish health, investigating new disease issues affecting fish farms

Michele Gallo, Aquaculture RAS Engineer, AquaBioTech Group 

10:40 - 10:50

How National Fisheries Development Program Has Developed the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sectors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia  

Musa Hassan Al-Kinani, Vice President, National Fisheries Development Program of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 

11:00 - 11:10

Current Status of Global Aquaculture: The Main Global Challenges and the Status in KSA (Pre-Recorded Session)  

Philippos Papageorgiou, Director of Aquaculture, National Fisheries Development Program of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 

11:10 - 11:25

Morning Networking Break and Exhibition Visit


Sustainable and Profitable Food Production  

John Meijer, CEO, Commercial Director/Co-Owner, Bom Group  


Preventing and Controlling Disease: Best Practice for Biosecurity in Animal Farms (Pre-Recorded Session) 

Biosecurity in farms is a highly critical for farm survival, safety and development. Concerns are of particular importance where production is limited and economic losses due to biosecurity would be significant. The issue of biosecurity measures to prevent disease outbreak and disease contamination, has been further highlighted in the public eye considering the COVID-19 pandemic. During this discussion, participants will be looking into: 

  • Biosecurity measures currently implemented on poultry farms around the region to be prepared against disease outbreaks 
  • Exploration around zoonoses associates with various animal farms and a checklist to decrease human health risks 
  • Practical measures and strategies that can be easily implemented to equip farms to contain any potential outbreaks of disease 
  • Best practices for vaccination protocols, isolation, cleaning and disinfection 
  • Discussion around prevention and guidelines for human and traffic flow for maximised control 
  • The future role of antibiotics in the animal farming industry 

Mohamed Naguib El Helaly, Chief Operating Officer - GOHARZ Group, Vice- Chairman – National Poultry Company, Lecturer at Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University 


Lunch Break and Exhibition Visit


AgraME: New Developments in Vertical Farming 

Every nation needs a sustainable and secure supply of fresh, nutritious food. Such supplies should be available more locally to minimise waste and reduce climate change impact. As farmers and other growers put greater emphasis on sustainable food security and surety of supply chain, vertical farming is being recognised as an increasingly valuable way to diversify and drive efficiency.   

IGS will present the latest, verifiable facts about their vertical farming system so that you can make an educated decision about whether vertical farming could form a profitable part of your business. Discover the meaning of Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA) and learn how their modular and massively scalable solution is overcoming the global food security challenges.   

David Farquhar, CEO, Intelligent Growth Solutions 

2:05 - 2:35

Autonomous Indoor Growing & Robotization in High-Tech Horticulture

With its 125 years history of innovation and experience, Certhon will inspire you with the latest high-tech development in Horticulture. Developments as in LED lighting, Indoor farming experience, Autonomous plant growing recipes and Robotisation set forward blue skies of new opportunities in sustainable high-tech horticulture. Together with Denso and their network of leading partners they are able to develop and implement their solutions successfully. By working together and making use of innovative technologies a full ecosystem approach is developed to improve the food-chain for local vegetable production. In this presentation Certhon will introduce and inspire you for sustainable development of our food chain worldwide with their technologies and solutions.   

Damion Schwarzkachel, Sales Manager, Certhon 


Daniele Benatoff - A Sophisticated Industrial Approach to Vertical Farming - Planet Farms 

Planet Farms has turned a green field into the most advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence)-driven fully automated vertical farm. Designed by a renowned architect from Italy it is for sure the worlds’ prettiest vertical farm.  

Planet Farms was born in Milan, combining the great Italian farming heritage with production and technological excellence. We are propelling the global indoor farming evolution to the new frontier, without compromising on the quality and taste which are the pillars of our ancient Italian food tradition. With our in-house software and robotics team, our industrial engineering approach to farming and our sustainable packaging we take vertical farming to the next level.   Want to know how we do it? Come to our talk at AgraME.  

Daniele Benatoff, Co-Ceo and Co-founder, Planet Farms 


End of Day 2