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Islamic Development Bank and International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation focus on AgriTech

Islamic Development Bank and International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation focus on AgriTech

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Saudi Arabia-based International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) (Agriculture Division) in collaboration with IsDB Group Business Forum (THIQAH), recently held joint webinar entitled ‘The Role of AgriTech in Food Security and Sustainability’ to discuss sustainable climate-smart agricultural technologies for achieving food and nutrition security.

The AgriTech webinar series is an initiative by IsDB and International Islamic Trade ITFC to support the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries to leverage the power of the Digital Transformation to advance growth in the agricultural sector, focusing on promoting trade and investments of agricultural products.

The webinar highlighted the most promising AgriTech solutions to enhance efficiencies of agricultural value chains at the national, regional and global level.

The webinar also focused on raising environmental awareness and demonstrated AgriTech solutions that can contribute positively to preserving and restoring the environment, as well as establishing strategic partnerships among various stakeholders to materialise the applications of AgriTech solutions and good agronomic practices to advance the sector.

Eng Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC, delivered the opening keynoteand said that: “Globally, agriculture employs around 1 billion people, that is one in every three workers. In OIC member countries, agriculture employees over 230 million people, nonetheless the yield is way below the global average. Such gap can only be bridged with knowledge and technology.”

Sonbol added that: “In ITFC we believe in building strategic partnerships among various stakeholders to collaborate in addressing the food security and environmental sustainability issues. There is a role for Governments, MDBs, FIs, agriculture companies, commodity traders, tech providers, legal firms, research centres and academic institutions.”

Dr Bashir Jama, Lead, Global Practice, Food Security Specialist at IsDB stated that: “Sustainable agricultural systems that are smallholder farmers-led must be anchored on robust value chains that engage the private sector effectively and also deploy science, technology and innovations. This is critical to attain the scale necessary and to build resiliency to climate change and markets volatility.”

The current technologically driven world presents opportunities and efficiencies to agriculture starting with the supply chain. New technologies disrupting the agricultural sector include Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and robotics. Industry pundits believe these emerging digital technologies are expected to transform the food and agriculture systems into Agriculture 4.0 (the Fourth Agriculture Revolution).

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