Los Grobo in the Media

April 13, 2018
Invest on the food industry: ''Technology will be a big disrupter''
Specialists agreed that robotics and no-tillage systems will boost food production. They also reiterated their concern about the effect of climate change.

IDB Invest, the private branch of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and several business representatives of the food sector held a dialogue on Thursday to identify production bottlenecks at a time when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) ) remember that to meet the nutritional demand of more than 9,000 million Peruvians by 2050, world food production must grow 60%. The technology oriented to the food industry played a leading role in the III Business Summit of the Americas.

"I think technology is going to be a big disrupter in this market," said James Scriven, CEO of IDB Invest. The president of Los Grobo, economic group oriented to the production and export of food, Gustavo Grobocopatel, stressed that Latin America not only has a future exporting food, but also exporting technology. The executive said that one of the most important innovations that has driven the region is direct sowing.

"No-till or no-till systems have reduced risks of soil degradation, which allows us to say that we are going to give our children better soils than we received from our parents," he said. He added that the storage of food products in silver bags has also been promoted from the region, which not only reduces food losses, but also makes better logistical use.

Grobocopatel also argued that the robotization of technology will allow to increase food production. "I imagine the robots injecting seeds with biotechnology contents. They are seeds that are covered by microorganisms that help them grow. These robots will learn from themselves and will be able to better manage agriculture. The technological convergence will change the field, so that production will be 50% cheaper than it is now, "he noted.

Warnings persist

Marie Haga, executive director of Crop Trust, a non-profit organization aimed at safeguarding and keeping crop diversity available, stressed that agriculture not only faces the challenge of raising production to meet the needs of the future population, but that must coexist with the threats of climate change. "Climate change is much faster than the plans that can be adopted," he said.

Do also noted that it is not enough to make use of more pesticides or fertilizers, but should take advantage of the variety of crops that exist in the world to diversify the diets of the population. "Rice, corn, soy and wheat account for more than 50% of the food we eat: that makes us very vulnerable. I think that when we consider future agriculture we need to be concerned because we need to diversify our diets and we need to safeguard that diversity of species that facilitates the development of plants, "he explained.

For his part, Pablo Vargas, CEO of the Britt group, made a call from the Business Summit of the Americas to stop Latin America from "shooting itself in the foot". "There are many obstacles that we put ourselves, there are many procedures to follow, a lot of bureaucracy," he said. Vargas said it is important that governments accompany the farmers who obtain their denomination of origin and, at the same time, promote through tourism tourism products that have that denomination. "In Costa Rica there is a coffee plant, we receive 50,000 tourists who know our brand and spend about US $ 8 million buying that roasted coffee," he said.

Published by: (Perú)
Automatic translation from spanish.

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