Every critical issue related to food facing the world can be addressed by existing technology. From apps that help inform consumers about the food they put in their mouths to agricultural big data to tweak supplies. The crucial problem that needs to be solved is the will from the investment community to start funding companies focused on food security and sustainability.
The World Economic Forum has taken this plea to Davos this week with the release of the paper “Innovation with a purpose: The role of technology innovation in accelerating food systems transformation” at the conference of the financial elites.
The paper points out that since 2010 investment in what they call “food systems-focused start-ups” totaled about $14 billion while healthcare garners $145 billion in the same time period. The research identifies 12 specific technology applications with the most potential, like nutrition information delivery and eliminating supply chain inefficiencies. Alternative proteins are also a promising avenue for future innovation, according to the report, which would not just solve the scarcity issue, but also drastically reduce carbon emissions worldwide.
“Technology has the potential to answer some of our biggest questions and help us better understand the world around us,” Bernard Meyerson, IBM’s Chief Information Officer said regarding the report. “We must work together to ensure that the food and agriculture sector is not left behind — and that these efforts contribute towards global food systems that benefit farmers.”
Featured image: World Economic Forum