David Farquhar, CEO IGS

REPRESENTING IGS, the Scottish-based agritech business, CEO David Farquhar travelled to Abu Dhabi this week to attend the prestigious invitation-only 2020 Milken Institute Middle East and Africa (MEA) Summit.

IGS supplies highly sophisticated plug-and-play vertical growing technology to indoor farms to enable the efficient production of food in any location around the world. The innovative Total Controlled Environment technology is capable of delivering yields of 225% and labour savings of up to 80% compared to glasshouse production, and energy savings of 50% in comparison to other indoor growing environments. 

David was one of more than 100 speakers at the event and joined a panel of experts for a session focusing on how global food producers can scale up supply to ensure we can sustain the projected global population of 9 billion by 2050. David highlighted the potential of vertical farming, as well as the challenges still faced by the sector and the importance of increasing its credibility as we seek to help seriously address food sustainability and security. 

During the event, he spoke alongside guests including United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Food Security Her Excellency Mariam Al-Muhairi, Chairman and CEO of Fresh Del Monte Produce, Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, and His Royal Highness Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder and CEO of KBW Ventures.

David commented: “It was an honour to receive the invitation to attend this remarkable summit and to represent Scottish innovation on a global stage, where such vital discussions are taking place. It is no secret that the global population is rising at an unprecedented rate and our ability to grow healthy food reliably under mounting pressure. It is vital that we act now to ensure that we are putting systems in place and adapt our behaviours to develop a sustainable route forward. 

“This was a hugely exciting opportunity for IGS to join some of the most influential people in the world to profile our platform and met other people with bright ideas. It is essential that we talk honestly about the role of technology in agricultural development and the opportunities provided by vertical farming to exist alongside traditional agriculture for future generations.”

The annual summit is now in its third year and brought together a carefully curated group of more than 1,000 interdisciplinary thought leaders and decision-makers to address global topics including food security, trade, capital markets, financial inclusion, job creation, gender parity and more.