Abu Dhabi Venture Builder – DANA Global – partners with global irrigation and climate leader – Rivulis – showcasing how to grow food in even the harshest conditions
23 November 2023, Abu Dhabi: DANA Global, the Abu Dhabi-based venture builder and investment platform, announces a new partnership with Temasek-backed global irrigation and climate leader – Rivulis – to establish an innovative demo-farm to showcase sustainable farming solutions in extreme weather and arid environments at Masdar City.
Here, Rivulis will showcase how farmers can benefit from using advanced micro irrigation and new climate farming models to address climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity loss and food security while bolstering sustainable livelihoods for growers. This initiative represents a groundbreaking opportunity to introduce and train farmers on micro irrigation systems – producing more and better-quality crop yields even in harsh climates, while using less water, fertilizers, energy, and labor. This beta farm is unique in the region, showcasing Rivulis’ advanced irrigation and fertigation systems, and reflects DANA’s and Rivulis’ joint commitment to educate and help growers transition to more sustainable farming.
The partnership follows DANA’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Masdar City, the regional home of technology innovation and R&D in Abu Dhabi, to build its first beta site there. The beta site tests and showcases leading Desert-Tech solutions and Agri-Tech projects for arid environments, water scarcity, greenhouse cooling, soil cultivation and regeneration, carbon sequestration, and resilient seed varieties.
As the world prepares to gather in the UAE at COP28, solutions addressing the threat of climate change to food production – particularly ones cultivated in the Middle East and Africa – can help feed a growing world population, vulnerable to hotter and more arid growing conditions. It is crucial for DANA and Rivulis to demonstrate solutions on ground in the real desert environment.
Food security is inextricably linked to water security. Globally, agriculture accounts for 70% of the drain on freshwater resources – increasing up to 90% in harsh environments. It is against this backdrop that DANA has chosen to partner with global micro irrigation leader Rivulis for its beta site. DANA aims to encourage as many farmers and agricultural corporations as possible to use these systems as infrastructure for future water solutions. DANA is committed to sustainable agricultural practices, and the collaboration with Rivulis amplifies DANA’s work in the Masdar City Beta Site and the region.
Richard Klapholz, CEO of Rivulis, said:
“Rivulis, one of the world’s largest irrigation companies and a global irrigation and climate leader, has been spearheading the use of micro-irrigation for over 80 years and the systems that Rivulis has created are crucial for the uninterrupted supply of many of the foods we enjoy today.
“We are now forging the path for how our world will cultivate food in the generations ahead, using a combination of intelligent irrigation, new climate farming models and socio-economic initiatives.
“The UAE’s ‘National Food Security Strategy’ promotes food security through advanced Agri-Tech, helping the Middle East to lead the way in addressing these critical issues. That’s why we are so pleased to partner with DANA to build a permanent demo farm to serve as a long term educational and training center for growers in the region and beyond – and we look forward to exploring future opportunities in the region.”
George Apostolopoulos, GM of Rivulis Eastern Europe and Middle East Business Unit said:
“We have a long history and presence in the region. It is a well-known center for innovation and a global hub for investors and leaders from around the world. We want to pioneer the future of food cultivation for the upcoming generations by re-imagining the future of farming. This involves harnessing intelligent irrigation, innovative climate-based farming models, and socio-economic programs. We aspire to empower every farmer, optimize every resource, and contribute to food security and the wellbeing of the planet.”
Nadine Benchaffai, DANA Global Venture Builder Director said:
“We are proud of our choice to make the UAE a home for our activities in the MENA region. Our anchor in Masdar City will allow us to unlock unprecedented prospects for Agri-Tech innovation within the UAE’s rising and growing ecosystem. As we unite in the pursuit of sustainability, this partnership offers Agri-Tech pioneers, such as Rivulis, as well as young startups, led by women, an exclusive gateway to unique Desert-Tech investments, cutting-edge technologies, and a chance to be at the forefront of sustainable innovation. Join us, support impactful initiatives, and seize distinctive business and investment opportunities – a visionary journey awaits in partnership with Masdar City.”
Operating for over three years, DANA Global – founded by and for women – has served as venture builder and investment platform for primarily female-led desert tech startups from all over the MENA region. DANA is backed by US venture capitalists, the EU Climate Fund and private investors in the MENA region. During the past three years, DANA has partnered with the main players in the UAE agritech ecosystem including Masdar and Silal (by ADQ), ADIO, and HUB 71.
At Masdar City Beta Site, DANA is piloting and showcasing different innovative solutions around the verticals of regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration. The collaboration with Rivulis will allow smallholder farmers as well as corporates to benefit from and apply full-scale solutions to their work and guarantee a positive improvement on climate and agriculture.
With 80 years’ field-trusted innovation, Rivulis is leading the mass adoption of micro irrigation globally and is committed to increasing accessibility to all growers everywhere via simple, affordable, smart, full cycle technology from design to harvest. To reach global climate goals, Rivulis incorporates socio-economic innovation into its model – given the need to democratize sustainable farming – ensuring accessibility to all farmers – from small holdings to expansive farms. These initiatives include Rivulis Impact Financing and Rivulis Climate programs.
The Rivulis Impact Financing initiative is deliberate. It is crafted to promote inclusive sustainable farming by eliminating financial barriers. This initiative’s primary objective is to empower small-scale farmers and advanced farming operations in emerging economies in the Middle East to utilize micro irrigation, guaranteeing that all can enjoy its advantages.
Part of this initiative – Rivulis Climate – is a partnership program between Rivulis and individual farmers designed to onboard farmers into the Carbon Credit economy and open new revenue streams previously considered too complicated and inaccessible.
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