Agro-industrialization and Sustainability: Shaping the Future of Agriculture from the Ground Up
The International Association for Agricultural Sustainability (IAAS) proudly hosted the highly anticipated International Agriculture and Innovation Conference 2023 (IAIC 2023) under the theme of “Agro-industrialization and Sustainability.”
The conference took place on 1st August 2023 and brought together leading experts, scholars, researchers, and industry stakeholders to explore transformative solutions for the agricultural sector. The event delved into three key themes: “Agriculture Development in the Face of Change,” “Controlled Environment Agriculture,” and “Agriculture Innovation Systems,” alongside insightful panel discussions.
The IAIC 2023 commenced with an inspiring opening speech by Prof. Tzong-Ru Lee, chairman of IAAS, emphasizing the critical need for agro-industrialization that balances economic growth with environmental preservation. This was followed by a compelling keynote address from Prof. Ian Givens, who shed light on dietary transitions for sustainable diets in the UK and India. The conference placed a strong focus on the symbiotic relationship between agriculture and industry, striving to develop practices that promote sustainable growth and resilience in the face of global challenges.
Key Themes Explored:
1. Agriculture Development in the Face of Change:
The conference’s first theme addressed the urgent need to adapt agriculture to a rapidly changing world. Experts from diverse backgrounds shared strategies for enhancing agricultural productivity, climate resilience, and sustainable land management. Distinguished speakers from the UK, US, and Taiwan, such as Dr. Lin Hsueh-Shih, Dr. Jonty Brunyee, Prof. John Healey, and Prof. Fedro S. Zazueta, presented best practices and successful projects from their regions, focusing on adaptive measures and climate change mitigation in agriculture.
The accompanying panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Wee Liang Tan, Vice Chairman of IAAS, explored innovative approaches to address climate change, water scarcity, and other environmental factors affecting food production. The discussions emphasized community engagement, public-private partnerships, and the integration of traditional knowledge with cutting-edge technology to drive sustainable agricultural development.
2. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA):
Under this theme, participants delved into the realm of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and its potential to revolutionize food production. Esteemed speakers, including Prof. Genhua Niu, Dr. Jennifer Bromley, Prof. John E. Erwin, and Dr. Eri Hayashi, shared enlightening talks on CEA, greenhouse vegetable crops, the potential of vertical farming, and plant factory innovations. Attendees were inspired to explore new frontiers in urban farming and contribute to building a healthier and greener world.
Following the sessions, a stimulating panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Cheng-I Wei, Honorary Chairman of IAAS, delved deeper into CEA practices and encouraged collaboration between researchers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to optimize CEA for sustainable food systems.
3. Agriculture Innovation Systems:
The third theme, Agriculture Innovation Systems, explored the role of technology and research in driving agricultural progress. Sessions focused on the integration of artificial intelligence, data analytics, and blockchain in agriculture. Insightful talks from Dr. Lava Kumar, and two speakers from FAO, Dr. Delgermaa Chuluunbaatar, and Dr. Hildegard Lingnau provided valuable insights into precision farming, biotechnology, and sustainable practices, fostering an environment where innovation meets sustainability.
The subsequent panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Ravi Khetarpal, Executive secretary, the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APPARI), underscored the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange to accelerate transformative agricultural solutions.
The conference’s interactive format facilitated networking and knowledge sharing among attendees from various sectors, including agribusiness, academia, and governmental agencies. With close to 300 scholars and industry professionals from 63 countries in attendance, IAIC 2023 set a new benchmark for knowledge exchange and collaboration in agro-industrialization and sustainability.
The International Association for Agricultural Sustainability (IAAS) is committed to promoting sustainable practices in agriculture through research, education, and collaboration. IAAS strives to address global challenges while fostering eco-friendly solutions that drive positive change in the agricultural sector.