14 Jun 2024 22:28

Mobile & Digital

Agriculture in Middle East Must Embrace Digital Transformation to Meet Soaring Demand for Food

Sage, the market leader in cloud business management solutions, held an exclusive roundtable to discuss the urgent need for digital transformation in agriculture. Taking place at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, the event drew the participation of senior agricultural leaders seeking to solve the most pressing issues facing the sector today.

With a rapidly growing population in the Middle East, local agriculture is under rising pressure to leverage technology. Increase in food production, optimised cost efficiency and enhanced sustainability were among the key topics discussed by senior industry leaders at Sage’s Digital Transformation in Agriculture roundtable.

Led by Mansoor Sarwar, Director of Technical Services and Pre-Sales at Sage, the session attracted industry experts including Nidal Haddad, CEO of Al Bayader International, Giby George, IT Director at Al Dahra Holding, Andreu Salvado, CEO of Aritmos, and Megha Kumar, Research Director for Software at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

Summing up the discussions, Sarwar said: “The UAE population is expected to hit 9.2 million by 2020, with a 12 per cent rise in food consumption every year. Growth in the food service segment will be further fuelled by tourism, restaurant dining, and an influx of foreign nationals with money to spend. It is imperative for farmers and agricultural companies to adopt smart business solutions to improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and meet customer demand.”

The experts agreed that food and agricultural companies in the Middle East must adopt modern enterprise management solutions to streamline business processes and enhance business performance visibility. Furthermore, the solutions will need to be tailored to the niche requirements of the specific agricultural commodities and markets, whether it is coffee, cattle, or citrus.

The forward-looking agricultural policy of the UAE government focuses on investments that support innovation and implementation of advanced technologies in the sector, particularly those that help ensure sustainability and overcome the challenges posed by the country’s arid environment. In the UAE, annual rainfall is just 120 mm, therefore local farms largely rely on desalinated water for irrigation.

Andreu Salvado said: “Five years ago, Aritmos and Sage Middle East partnered to develop new software solutions for specific business verticals, such as agriculture. Our two companies share a relationship of mutual trust, and together we have integrated Aritmos software into Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management to create a comprehensive, powerful and scalable tool that powers business performance and growth.”

Megha Kumar said: “Digital transformation is changing industries across the board. The adoption of innovative solutions leads to an exponential growth in data that needs to be managed effectively. The use of cloud will be critical for the success of these innovations, and for enabling organisations to streamline their processes and improve operational efficiencies, leading to improved productivity and service delivery.”

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