International experts, regional authorities, investors and stakeholders from the agriculture sector will gather on September 7-8 in Johannesburg, South Africa for the inaugural Urban Agri Summit 2017
. The two-day event will serve as a springboard to support the successful launch of Vertical Farming, Greenhouse and Control Environment Agriculture across Africa's urban landscape to help address the needs of the continent's rapidly growing populations.
Dr Esther Ndumi Ngumbi, Food Security Fellow with New Voices, The Aspen Institute and previously Mentor for Agriculture at the Clinton Global University Initiative (CGI U), said, "I believe it is about time Africa has the conversations about vertical farming and other innovative urban agriculture practices. With the urban population expected to rise for most of the African cities, there will be the need for innovative approaches to feed the urban population. I do believe that Africa’s farms have to start going vertical."
Various initiatives have already been undertaken by South Africa to spur innovation in its agriculture sector. Together with other Sub-Saharan African cities in Nigeria and Kenya, South African metropolises are joining the footsteps of many global cities to introduce sustainable urban indoor farming. Africa has unique opportunities for vertical farms and Controlled Environment Agriculture. Vertical farming (including its variations) is one of the most innovative approaches that can be tapped as part of an effort to grow fresh, healthy, nutritious and pesticide-free food for consumers.
Jana Jordaan, Sustainable Agriculture Analyst at GreenCape said: “We are very excited that the Urban Agri Summit will be taking place in Johannesburg this year. Our 2017 Agriculture Market Intelligence Report has shown that there are significant opportunities for farmers, investors and businesses in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) in the region. The Urban Agri Summit is a great platform where international experiences and ideas are shared, influencing opportunities and overcoming barriers to the growth of the CEA market. We believe the summit is a great opportunity to not only support the growth of the CEA market in South Africa, but also support South Africa’s transition to a more resilient green economy."
Highlights of the Summit include insightful presentations and engaging panel discussions by international organisations and experts from Europe, the Middle East, Australia and the USA, combined with a technology showcase.
This industry event is supported by the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) and by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).
The AVF's Stephane Razzon said, "The event holds an unprecedented opportunity for the African continent to be introduced with the most cutting-edge technologies in agriculture. Controlled Environment Agriculture, Vertical Farming and advanced greenhouse methods are bound to completely transform food systems in developing countries and developed countries alike. We at the AVF believe the global Vertical Farming market is now ready to make a notable impact on the agricultural sector in Africa. It will require from us all to be in the right place and in the right time, which is clearly at the Urban Agri Summit 2017.