29 November, 2020
Future of Agritech in MENA
A comprehensive ecosystem needs to be developed for the Agritech sector to thrive in the MENA region, according to experts on a panel organized by Wamda.
The Middle East region has started to become dependent on externally produced staple food products for its own sustenance, with over 90% of its staple food demands being met through imports. One of the largest solutions being adopted internationally is the use of technology to overcome this hurdle. With this, the use of technology on agriculture came to be known as Agritech, with economies and businesses placing specific focus on the same.
From an investment perspective, over the last 6 years, a total of $250 million has been invested across 33 deals in the MENA Agritech space. In spite of leveraging cutting edge technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (A.I) and data analytics, the Agritech sector is yet to pick up in the region and startups continue to be faced with severe challenges.
Some of the challenges include rigid regulatory frameworks and minimal Government support for the Agritech sector. For the sector to thrive, the experts believe that competitive pricing of technology, and practical solutions provided by the channels and distribution partners will make the difference.