Lebanon’s 1st Agri-Food Innovation Day, organized by Berytech under the patronage of his Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, took place on the 5th of February in New Biel, garnering great success. The event gathered over 1200 students, academics and researchers, engineers, innovators, investors, agri-food sector players, government officials, the media and ecosystem partners.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet innovative agri-food startups, 9 of which are enrolled in the Agrytech Accelerator demoing their products/services for the 1st time, partook in interesting panels and pitches, and witnessed the launch of the 1st Lebanese agri-food consortium Qoot.
What Is Qoot?
During her speech at the launch ceremony, Qoot president, Nadine Khoury, COO of Robinson Agri, explained that the cluster is armed with ambitious goals, “Building an economy for the 21st century - one that is greener, more innovative and more effective, QOOT is presented as a factor to drive the growth of the sector through innovation, competitiveness, and support networks, to help protect and increase employment, improve efficiencies and linkages, and foster development.”
Qoot is initiated by Berytech and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the active guidance of FoodValley, Netherland’s leading agri-food cluster. It was born out of a resolve to equip Lebanon with the resources and processes that have made the Netherlands one of the leading agricultural innovators and food exporters worldwide.
The cluster is open for innovation-driven agri-food organizations and providers of smart agri-food services and products including multi-nationals present in Lebanon, large agri-food businesses, SMEs and startups. Innovation in the agri-food sector can be defined by, but not restricted to, the business model or concept, agricultural and processing technique, new product variety or breed, new packaging, as well as technology and automation.
Qoot has already brought on board 26 innovative Lebanese agri-food companies of all sizes, including Al Rifai, Chateau Kefraya, Colonel Beer, Unipak, Bioland, Gout Blanc, and so on. All of them are committed to join forces and accelerate the sustainable growth of Lebanon’s agricultural sector.
Meet the Agrytech Startups Who Pitched on Stage
On stage, 9 startups from the Agrytech Accelerator demonstrated months of work in developing their business, all incorporating innovation as a main factor in addressing the challenges of the agri-food sector locally and globally.
AgriEats is a social empowerment initiative and an online source of authentic food products that are exclusively made by women and rural dwellers. AgriEats directly supports local food production while preserving traditional food practices in some of the world’s most remote locations.
CubeX is a household wastewater and food waste treatment system that empowers users to move towards sustainable living. The sanitation system allows the homeowner to fully treat their bio-waste while also recovering valuable resources such as water for irrigation, biogas for cooking and nutrient-rich compost. CubeX empowers ruralcommunities to adopt a clean lifestyle while also moving towards resource security.
Digimart connects retailers directly to distributors allowing them to promote their products instantly to the retailers. It also provides them with a tool to market their new products and promotions. Retailers can find those authentic products, place their orders and track them at their ease.
FoodCheck monitors and tracks products’ whereabouts in real time all while providing stock management. Whether it’s in the truck, in the wholesaler’s warehouse, or on the shelf of the supermarket, FoodCheck allows the user to know the exact location and conditions of every single box by linking all the nodes in the supply chain.
IoTree (Internet of Trees) is a network of smart electronic traps based on artificial intelligence to detect and identify harmful pests and send valuable agricultural advice via a mobile application about when, where and what to spray. IOTree will increase the production, improve the quality of the harvest and decrease the use of pesticides.
Mushtic is a biodegradable alternative to Styrofoam, based on agricultural waste and mushrooms. It shares the same properties as Styrofoam in terms of heat and water tolerance, shock resistance, all the while being ecofriendly. When users activate decomposition, Mushtic products take only one month to fully decompose in nature compared to Styrofoam’s 500 years.
Quadra provides optical fruit sorting machinery catered to the of fruit sorting houses in the MENA and Eastern Europe. It serves as an automated solution for customers to sort fruits at international standards and penetrate new markets to generate larger revenues. Aside of the usual buying options, Quadra is the 1st company to offer renting solutions, making optical sorting machinery easily accessible to anyone.
RiginO is an end-to-end traceability platform allowing manufacturers to expand market access, generate business growth and improve brand perception by complying with regulations.
Turista Kit specializes in the portable medical devices business. They are focused on non-invasive prevention kits with plans to launch their first medical device in Q3 2019. The device will be used to detect food intoxication in less than 3 minutes, thus preventing the burden of getting food poisoning altogether.