The World Economic Forum discusses the global issues. The first-ever Ukraine House was opened on this forum under the slogan «Ukraine: Creativity, Innovation, Opportunities». The discussion panel on «Europe's Agro Superpower: Ukraine, Powered by Tech and Innovation» has become the most significant and most visited event of the day.
The World Economic Forum this year took place under the slogan «Creating a common future in a divided world». Naturally, there was much talk about overcoming the social crisis and environmental problems, but the theme of the AIC was also regularly debated.
Thanks to the discussion panel on the development of agro-innovations which was organized by AgroHub for international investors, the project attracted the attention of world players to Ukraine, told about Ukrainian agribusiness opportunities and presented Ukraine as a worthy participant among the world innovators.
By 2050, the planet's population will be 9.8 bln people. Many already raise the food security issues and believe that they can resolve these problems by applying the innovations, increasing the productivity of agricultural sector and raising the exports.
During the discussion panel, it was said that Ukraine has all the necessary conditions for increasing production volumes and developing advanced technologies in the agricultural sector.
For today, there is no balance in providing the food for the world's population. 800 mln people are starving, while 1.2 billion are suffering from obesity. Taking into account the fact that the number of earthlings continues to grow, the initiative group of the economic forum New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) has called on more than 600 organizations to cooperate. To date, more than USD 10.5 bln were collected through joint efforts. One fifth of this sum has already invested in the development of 10.5 mln small farmers.
« It will be difficult to grow many crops in a typical area for them because of climate changes. And this is a big challenge for the agricultural sector. On the other hand, these changes will lead to a significant development of agricultural technologies, and agriculture will massively introduce innovative solutions in order to adapt to new conditions», Lissitsa said.
In his opinion, the innovations and increased productivity will help solve the problem with food shortages. And in Ukraine, according to him, now the best opportunities for this. Strange as it may seem, climate change on the planet is good for our farmers. Lissitsa said that not so long ago in the north of Ukraine it was difficult to see a sunflower, but now the Chernigov region provided the agro-holding IMC (where Lissitsa is the general director) twice as much yield as Poltava. Although Poltava was traditionally famous for its chernozem soil. The climate in the central regions of the country is getting drier every year.
We are still lucky, and global warming allows Ukraine to increase the yield of sunflower and production of the oil, which is exported. «Last year again was a record year, Ukraine exported agro-products for more than USD 17 bln», the businessman said.
The introduction of new technologies in the agroindustrial complex makes it possible to achieve fantastic results, even in the absence of good natural conditions. For example, Israel uses drip irrigation, or Iceland, in which cherries and strawberries are grown thanks to thermal energy. Or the Netherlands, using technologies and innovations, confidently occupy the second position in the world for the export of food and agricultural products. Only the USA surpass them.
With the growing globalization and the need to feed the world's population, the farms that are habitual for us are changing their appearance. Urban farms are becoming commonplace. These complex, futuristic farms can be constructed in several ways, but most of them have rows of shelves with plants rooted in soil enriched with nutrients, water and air. Each level is equipped with UV lighting to simulate the effects of the sun. Unlike unpredictable weather outdoors, growing indoors allows farmers to adapt the conditions for maximum plant growth and obtaining of high yields.
Alex Lissitsa said that today Ukraine is rapidly taking the position of the agrarian European superpower. «We are implementing innovative solutions, integrating new technologies into production and investing in agro-innovations, and we can predict that only agritech exports of Ukraine will reach more than USD 5 billion in the next 5-7 years», Alex Lissitsa summed up.
«Unfortunately, the process of introducing innovations in Ukraine is slow. According to expert estimates, this figure does not exceed 10%. But even without innovations, Ukraine managed to achieve high results thanks to fertile soil (about 300 thous. square kilometers.). One can only imagine what kind of results will be achieved by Ukraine, if innovations will be implemented on a large scale», said Julia Poroshenko, founder and project manager of Agrohub, co-founder of the technology cluster Radar Tech.