Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Inayat-ur-Rahman, Deputy Business Editor
The World Economic Forum's Davos event - the annual meeting of global leaders and business elite, which shapes policies and partnerships for a more inclusive, cohesive and sustainable future - was held virtually this year, due to the continuing global pandemic.
In a departure from previous editions, Davos 2021 featured an increased focus on agriculture and food production, along with their knock-on effects on climate change, water scarcity and deforestation.
"These developments reflect how the pandemic has reset our attention, on to pressing issues that are nearing an irreversible tipping point and can no longer be ignored," said Chandra Dake, CEO and Founder of Dake Rechsand, a Dubai-based company offering sustainable solutions in agriculture.
"Access to food is a basic human right, but last year, 690 million people were chronically undernourished, while three billion couldn't afford a nutritious diet. At the same time, more than a billion tonnes of food continues to be wasted every year. The WEF’s deliberations on this issue could not be more timely", Chandra added.
The pandemic has served as a harsh reminder of the need for concerted proactive action, to create a more food secure and sustainable world. But it has also shown that the world is capable of decisive action, when faced with extreme adversity. This new-found zeal could be channelled to meet the goals set out by the Paris Agreement, while achieving global food security and restoring ecological balance. In this context, the Davos Agenda's special emphasis on agriculture - which remains a major driver of water consumption, climate change and deforestation – signals a significant change.
The event's panelists have brought diverse ideas and initiatives to the table, with specific attention given to transforming food production and improving farmer livelihoods. This primarily includes funding, with multi-stakeholder participation, to ensure strong capital and tech flow to developing countries, so that they can strengthen regional food value chains and gain access to global markets.
This is a vision that Dake Rechsand's sustainability solutions complement very well. Especially the company’s breathable sand, which enables optimal agricultural productivity in deserts and arid regions, while reducing water consumption by nearly 80%.
"We are leveraging technology to empower sustainable agriculture and hoping to drive food security in the MENA region, through inclusive and eco-friendly solutions. Agriculture, currently an activity that comes at a high ecological cost, can become the first carbon-neutral sector. At Dake Rechsand, we are committed to this cause, and see it as one of the critical elements of a sustainable world" said Chandra, in closing.
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