The World’s Most Urgent Challenge
– and Opportunity: How to Sustainably Feed a Planet of Nine Billion People
Dr. Qu Dongyu, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations stated, ““We need to urgently change how we produce, process and consume food today. There is an historic opportunity to transform agri-food systems, which are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals… Realigning incentives will be an important approach in such a transformational journey.”
The agriculture and food sectors are estimated to be responsible for 25% of global CO2 emissions, and one-third of the world’s food production, or 1.3 billion tons per year, is being wasted. In addition, 26.4% of the world’s population is at risk of food insecurity as the world has lost one-third of its arable land in the past 40 years.
Explosive New Market in Agritech and Foodtech Solutions
As the sustainability of the food and technology sectors becomes a global challenge, agri-food tech continues to attract attention around the world, solving all social issues related to food and agriculture, such as decarbonization, food loss reduction, soil restoration, and safe food security, through innovative technologies. According to AgFunder’s research, investment in agritech/foodtech companies has soared from $6 billion in 2014 to $52 billion by 2021.
AgFunder and SIJ Partnering together
SDG Impact Japan, together with AgFunder, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm specializing in agri-food tech worldwide, has launched the AgFunder SIJ Impact Fund to invest in food and agriculture related startups. SIJ as impact advisor of the Fund and the Fund leverages AgFunder’s extensive network to identify startups with high-impact agri-food technologies that contribute to food sustainability.
The fund invests in the bravest founders, aiming to solve the largest challenges with the most scale. The fund invests in the following focus areas:
– Innovative next-generation food products (including cultured meat, plant-based, and fermentation-based solutions);
– Functional foods and new food molecules, as well as food as medicine;
– Distribution platforms such as online stores and marketplaces, including e-groceries;
– Supply chain management platform solutions to reduce waste;
– Food testing equipment
– Farm management using robotics and AI;
– Sensing and IoT agricultural data collection equipment;
– Traceability technology;
– Novel farming systems such as plant factories, and indoor farms.
The fund is also actively managing and amplifying the broader impact of its investee companies.
We are launching Asia’s first Article 9- compliant ESG fund for public equities, setting a new benchmark for green investing. This will be the first fund to adhere to the EU’s new leading standards for sustainable investment.