China’s state-owned ChemChina tendered a $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta today as part of a strategy to improve domestic food production. Remember the classic board game Monopoly? It’s being played by multi-national agri-businesses in attempt to control the world food supply chain. China is the largest agricultural market on the planet. Syngenta’s[.....]
Archive by category Business
Could you be in Tel Aviv next week? Can you follow a focused and fast-paced discussion delivered in Hebrew? Then hightail it to a special meet up to hear how an innovator took his initial food tech concept and nurtured it to fruition. Must-have intelligence for anyone toying with a start-up. But reserve your seat[.....]
Israeli non-profit Modern Agriculture Foundation (MAF) is developing lab-grown chicken meat that doesn’t require the rearing and slaughtering of birds. Since 2014, they’ve been researching mass production of cultured chicken meat from a single bird cell. If they succeed, we could soon be asking, Which came first, the chicken…or the chicken? Chicken is the world’s second favorite meat[.....]
A special Kickstarter campaign invites you to aid the ballooning Middle Eastern refugee crisis, with all proceeds going directly to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The one-week fundraiser was launched on Tuesday in response to a question posed by President Barack Obama: could crowdfunding incite Americans to get more involved in refugee relief? White House[.....]
Qatar – the tiny desert nation known for sinking millions into futuristic follies like artificial clouds and underwater TV studios – has come down to earth with a plan to grow up to 70 percent of its own vegetables by 2023. Currently under 16 percent of their veggies are locally grown. “Cutting edge technology” will[.....]
Ever have a salad that was out of this world? Astronauts aboard International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 44 have. They just dined on the only lettuce ever cultivated without an atmosphere. The produce grew inside “Veggie”, a tiny greenhouse about the size of a computer monitor. Specifically designed for microgravity environments, the technology can potentially benefit food production[.....]
Researchers from Oregon State University’s (OSU) Hatfield Marine Science Center have created a new strain of seaweed with potential to grab the title for World’s Top Superfood. The newly patented strain of the red-leafed algae dulse, a lettuce-like plant that grows in the wild along Atlantic and Pacific coastlines. It’s packed with protein and minerals., but the[.....]
If you own your own business, you already know. And if you’re looking to open your own business, you need to know: it isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap and you probably don’t have endless resources for making mistakes. The most successful businesses didn’t start out with billion dollar budgets. No, many of the wealthiest[.....]
Are we really having this conversation? Yup, because everything we do has an environmental cost and gambling is something that millions of people do. While Vegas US regulation severely limits the multi-billion dollar casino industry to stay in bricks and mortar locations – obviously for political reasons and nothing else, in other parts of the[.....]
A team of Syrian scientists at the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) braved the terrors of civil war to protect a critical piece of global heritage, meticulously transporting plant genetic material from a seed bank in Aleppo to the Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway. Their actions to protect the region’s ancient farming[.....]
Travel to the Middle East has never been a better deal than now – in terms of economics (deep-discounted hotels and holiday packages), weather (blizzards have all blown by and crushing heat is still months away), and – in most of the region’s top touristic venues – political stability. All my view based on four[.....]
What’s the social value of a new app that connects me to the best pizza in town? Or a gadget that can help me talk to a fellow gamer in China? Maybe the answer is zero, but maybe not. There is a new investment trend in town and it’s called Impact Investing. While the East and West Coasts[.....]
Rajendra Pachauri, director of think-tank The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has resigned as chief of the United Nations (UN) panel of climate scientists today after allegations of sexual harassment, which he has denied. He was to lead 2015 Climate Change Conference (COP21), the high-stakes global warming summit to[.....]
Posters mocking actor Ed Begley Jr. and radio-host Robert Kennedy Jr. were plastered all over Hermosa Beach, California and nearby neighborhoods ahead of the pair’s recent appearance at the simplistically titled, “Environmental Forum with Bobby Kennedy Jr. & Ed Begley Jr.” at the Hermosa Beach Community Theater. Tuck this in the ballooning file labeled “When celebrities[.....]
It’s been weeks since a Palestinian vegetable vendor from the West Bank town of Jericho last imported mushrooms, selling instead homegrown organic ‘shrooms grown for the first time in the West Bank. Amoro Mushroom Farm in Jericho – the first farm in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to commercially produce white mushrooms – is emerging as a[.....]
Israeli Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett (above right) launched the flagship “Water City” project in China this week, announcing that the city of Shouguang in the Shandong province would be the focus of Israel’s water-related activities in the country. Israel is considered a leading industry player in water technologies, delivering solutions from agtech to desalination at a reasonable[.....]
A fascinating report published by Mumbai-based think tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG), asserts that trans-boundary water cooperation directly correlates with regional stability and peace. The inverse also holds true: failure to collaborate when managing shared water resources raises the risk of war.
Lego announced a break in its 50-year partnership with Royal Dutch Shell, a split sparked by an anti-Arctic drilling video produced by environmental activists Greenpeace. The clip – which capitalized on our love for Lego building block toys – went viral on YouTube with over 6 million hits. It incited a million email complaints to the toy maker[.....]
I’ve started a small water farm. But unlike my attempted and horridly failed attempts at soil farming, where worms, weeds and beetles have taken over on my small plot and my brain, I’ve seen some impressive progress on water.
There is a growing concern that the free trade agreement between Iran and Turkey has encouraged an increase in the production and transit of drugs in the Middle East. Following the 2009 agreement to enhance co-operation efforts of land, air, and sea transportation, politicians and economic analysts have grown ever more concerned about the rising[.....]
Disruptions in food trade and marketing in the three West African countries most affected by the Ebola virus out of control have made food increasingly expensive and hard to come by, while labor shortages are putting the upcoming harvest season at serious risk, the United Nations FAO warned today.
With several of the Middle East’s city-states becoming some of the world’s richest locations, it’s little surprise that an increasing number of people, particularly from the west and Far East, are looking at investment options in the region. Twinned with this however, is surge in investors looking for more ethical opportunities for their money. Trading[.....]
Researchers from Duke University in the United States warned that planet Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction event comparable to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Israel’s dubious meat industry gets more sickening: we’ve already covered exposes of poultry fed with feces and pumped with toxic contaminants. Now it’s all about beef and how it’s frozen, treated laundry style and then resold as fresh.
BITBOX will launch the Middle East’s first bitcoin ATM tomorrow evening local time in Tel Aviv. The specialized vending machine allows even novice bitcoin users to both purchase and sell bitcoins in a very secure manner.
We’re accustomed to seeing food in bulk at souqs throughout the Middle East, but shoppers always leave with a legion of plastic bags to carry their goods. There is an alternative though, and Berlin’s first waste-free supermarket, the Original Unverpackt, shows how it’s done.
Sensational food production issues in Israel are covered by Green Prophet. These issues have included exposure of cruelty in the meat industry; frozen fish from China that are pumped with water and Chemicals, and meat being fed with feces and pumped with toxic contaminants.
Egypt plans to lease 25,000 hectares of agricultural land to Arab investors. Agriculture minister Ayman Abu Hadid made the announcement in Tunis recently. Egypt is hoping that sustainable farmers will apply.
Masdar CEO Sultan Al Jaber is moving on to “greener” pastures, according to a statement released by Abu Dhabi investment giant Mubadala. The firm has appointed Al Jaber as its chairman; Masdar’s new CEO has been identified as Ahmad Belhoul.
When all else fails, run to wealthy Saudi Arabia. That seems to be the prevailing thought among Egyptian officials at a loss to resolve the ongoing dispute with Ethiopia over Nile water rights.
Ask any African who lives off the land, and they’ll tell you that water is life. But when the wells and rivers dry up, or become so polluted or full of disease that it kills their children and livestock, water can also be a great cause of sorrow.
Masdar has sued the Spanish government. The multi-pronged company funded in part by the government of Abu Dhabi helped build the world’s first 24/7 solar power plant in Spain, a feat made possible in part with subsidies. But Spain has now cut incentives for renewable energy, which eats into Masdar’s investment.
The switch was flipped this week as California’s Ivanpah solar thermal power plant went live. The 392 megawatt concentrating solar plant (CSP) is now delivering renewables to power the equivalent of 140,000 homes in California. After a long journey lasting decades of development, fighting regulations, manoeuvring around turtle conservationists, burning birds may be the latest problem.
Key investors in renewable energy for the Middle East and North Africa regions will be on hand to discuss the criteria for securing project financing. They will present the case studies of the Shams 1, a 100MW plant in Abu Dhabi and the Noor 1, a 160MW (being constructed in Morocco).
Africa’s largest silver mine has been operating in the Atlas mountains since 1969, but the Berber people living in the surrounding villages remain among the most poverty-stricken people in Morocco. Now Movement on the Road ’96 are living in an “occupation” camp to protest a silver mine’s water use and pollution.
The bone-dry plains of the Western Sahara may be no place to plant a garden, but their extreme solar irradiance values render them ideal for solar farming. Morocco has persuaded foreign investors to underwrite a $9 billion solar power project.
Abu Dhabi will host high level talks in advance of the UN Climate Summit in New York later this year.
I own a Smart TV, but it doesn’t connect or operate through a very smart interface. I have heating for my home, but it isn’t connected to any system or way to make it more efficient or smarter. But if the latest Google shopping spree is any indication, our homes will be getting smarter –[.....]
Three years ago, Qatar won the right to be the first Middle Eastern country to host a World Cup in 2022; after much speculation, FIFA’s Secretary General Jerome Valcke publicly ruled out the possibility that the competition will take place in summer.
Some good news out of the Middle East region for a change: It was announced at the Israel Business Forum that Israel has signed an historic water-sharing agreement with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. But not all parties are happy with political manoeuvrings around the announcement.
Israel’s Ormat Technologies has brokered a deal with eBay to power the online auction giant’s new data center in Utah using Recovered Energy Generation (REG) – a groundbreaking project made possible by new energy legislation.
We interviewed Karl Amman about illegal wildlife trafficking at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi about two years ago. Since then, increasingly violent poaching incidents have been linked to terrorist groups such as al-Shabaab, which recently claimed responsibility for an armed attack on the Israeli-built shopping center in Kenya.
Sharks hauled from the Persian Gulf provide fodder for shark fin soup in Hong Kong, and the endangered bluefin tuna is popular there too. But now the government has instituted a new ban that could reduce consumption of both.
Iran said it was going to send a monkey into space in 2011, but that didn’t happen. Now a top space official has told the state news agency IRNA that it’s sending a Persian cat instead.
Hiriya just south of Tel Aviv went from being a teeming trash mountain to a renowned recycling center, and now it will also be the site of the Middle East’s largest Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) plant.
Eerie and beautiful, The Scarecrow is a powerful anti-factory-farming message served up in a new commercial that barely refers to what’s actually being pitched. But the intent is as subtle as a brick to the head: Chipotle Mexican Grill is taking on Big Food.
Recently launched by Qatar’s Al Jazeera Media Network, Al Jazeera America has already made a splash for its no-nonsense climate change coverage – something local media stations have been too timid to tackle.
When the $10 billion Red-Dead Canal plan got the axe earlier in August, we discussed plan B for restoring some sense of water security to northern Jordan: a smaller desalination plant in Wadi Araba to trade water with Israel and Palestine.
Qatar Solar has purchased a stake in SolarWorld AG to give the firm a much needed fiscal boost. Called the BMW of solar panel producers, the German firm has been struggling to compete against China’s flood of cheap, generic photovoltaic panels.
Israeli activist Ari Leon Fruchter has launched a new Kickstarter campaign, but instead of getting Israelis naked with Spencer Tunic, this time he is raising funds for Naked Sea Salt – a sustainable new brand of salt from the Dead Sea.
Britain’s Prince Charles lectures long on climate change and the local food movement, but a recent discovery about one of his businesses suggests the title “His Royal Highness” is just a nod to his carbon footprint.
Sunrise Ltd, the court-appointed new owners of Israel’s Better Place electric vehicle company, now known as Green EV, is struggling to pay the company’s liquidators, and other potential buyers are asking the courts to reassign assets. Green EV is having a hard time paying off its bills, and that is surprising? Step in for a[.....]