The 4th International edition of the AgriBusiness Forum 2021 has been concluded on 6-7 October 2021, having rolled clear outputs for the future of agriculture in the digital era.

AgriBusiness Forum 2021 highlighted “Food & Farming systems’ green and digital transition”, including 9 high-caliber & multidisciplinary chapters, 45 topics and 50 renowned panelists from Greece and the world.

On Wednesday 6/10/2021, the opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Giannis Balakakis, Chair Organizing Committee of the AgriBusiness Forum and President of the Geo Routes Institute, and Mr. Nabil Gangi, Deputy Regional Representative for Europe & Central Asia of FAO United Nations.

The future of agrifood systems in view of the outcomes from the United Nation’s Food Systems Summit 2021” focused on CAP 2021-2027 in the light of sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, Europe’s recovery post-COVID-19 and farmers’ support in order they can meet societies’ demands.

Enabling Women entrepreneurship in agribusiness to build smart economies” focused on women entrepreneurship, the financing challenges and risk management they use to face in the agrifood sector, the green entrepreneurship and the digital platforms enabling women to accessing new markets.

Food Security & Safety in the digital world: regulation, frauds detection & monitoring tools” presented advanced tools for assessing authenticity and food fraud detection, new methods monitoring emerging surveillance and the inter-connection between all with the blockchain technology.

In the session “The novel state of CAP 2021-2027 and the “Green Deal” panelists were Spilios Livanos, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development & Food Greece, Janusz Wojciechowski, EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Nikos Papathanasis, Alternate Minister for Development & Investments, Hubert Cottogni, Deputy Director, Head of Mandate Management, European Investment Fund, and Jessie Voumvaki, Deputy Chief Economist at the National Bank of Greece.

The first day of the forum was concluded with Chapter 5 “Agritourism, Rural development, Mediterranean diet, Local products” being a topic that since 2019 AgriBusiness Forum pushes stakeholders for joining forces about interconnecting tourism with the primary sector. Chapter focused on the effects of the pandemic on the supply chain of catering sector, the nutritional value of the Mediterranean and Greek diet, on the initiatives of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, and on the evolution of the agritourism in the Netherlands in terms of GDP and local development.

The second day of the AgriBusinsss Forum 2021, Thursday 7/10/2021, opened with the welcome remarks addressed by Ms. Alia El-Yassir, UN WOMEN Regional Director, Representative to Turkey, Europe and Central Asia.

In Chapter 6 “Smart farming, processing & circular economy: Precision agriculture, Α.Ι., sustainable biorefineries” were presented the prospects and the challenges in the adoption of digital technologies in the agrifood chain, the new solutions in precision agriculture, the online sensors across big-scale production lines and what biorefineries do in terms of bio-economy, waste management and food consumption.

Financial instruments for efficient & sustainable agribusiness” dealt with the financial instruments of the Rural Development Program (Pillar II CAP), answered the question whether the financial instruments can improve the competitiveness of Greek agriculture, presented the opportunities created by the Just Transition Development Plan and demonstrated National Bank of Greece interests in supporting innovative scale-ups of the agrifood sector.

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Greece, Ms. Susanna Terstal, has opened Chapter-8 “Agriculture in view of synergies: the Dutch triple helix model”. Mr. Simos Kedikoglou, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Rural Development & Food, addressed a welcome note, while Dr. Meine Pieter van Dijk, Emeritus Professor of Universities of Rotterdam, Delft & Maastricht, Mr. Hans Nijhoff, Senior expert agribusiness development, Maastricht School of Management, Dr. Eleni Maloupa, Director Institute of Plant Breeding & Genetic Resources, ELGO Dimitra have presented the essentials of collaboration between farmers-research and businesses. Such close cooperation is the recipe of success of the Dutch “triple helix” model that made The Netherlands the 2nd biggest agrifood power in the world.

AgriBusiness Forum 4th international edition was concluded with Chapter-9 “Ahead climate crisis and net zero emissions adaptation”. Session focused on the challenges of the agrifood sector due to climate crisis, the future of food in terms of desertification, and the funding criteria that banks will be called to take into account for sustainable and green business strategies.