Regardless of tough challenges like environmental pollution, rapid decrease of farmlands and growing costs of equipment, agriculture in the Middle East has come a long way in the last few decades. As the challenges loom large, effective strategies and adaptive measures are necessary to maintain a high standard in order to feed the growing population.
AgriTech Accelerator is the concept where entrepreneurship meets agriculture. For long enough, agriculture and farming didn’t seem like a sector worth investing. But with the ever-growing necessities of innovation and creativity, agriculture has become one of the most prominent areas of entrepreneurship in the MENA region. To overcome obstacles like population bump, deforestation, desertification, sky-rocketing production costs and lack of support for farming, farmers need support from the modern day entrepreneurs.
Hence, Jordan opened their first ever AgriTech Accelerator, named HASSAD. The primary goal is to provide tech solutions to the people related to the agriculture sector, including the grass-roots. HASSAD was launched on May 4th, as a 3-month long business acceleration program powered by ITG Solutions. The major benefactors are SMEs, startups and solutions that excel in agrarian technology.
Jordan has realized the need to intertwine startups with agriculture, and HASSAD is hoped to become a cornerstone in the process. The basic strategy is to develop a supportive and stimulating environment to bring differentiating AgriTech solutions to companies that can scale, influence and accelerate the progress of Jordanian economy.
The CEO of ITG Solutions, Mr. Walid Tahabsem said, “Jordan is in need for specialized business accelerators which will help bring out innovative solutions and convert them to successful, sustainable and scalable businesses.”
According to Mohammed Alafranji, the Program Manager of HASSAD, “The added value of the accelerator is reinforced by the intensive and specialized 3 months acceleration program, the support from the network of professional mentors and coaches, access to ITG’s network with local and international bodies related to the sector, grant the access to ITG Agriculture’s farm in the Jordan Valley and ITG’s offices in Cairo, Riyadh, Nairobi and Silicon Valley and finally providing linkages with potential buyers and investors.”
HASSAD hopes to select 15 startups in the first cohort, and serve them with a specialized and intensive acceleration program. Their professional coaches and mentors will deliver training to the startups. In addition, startups will receive further support so that they can network better with both international and local bodies of the agriculture sector and link with potential investors and buyers. The cherry on the top is access to ITG’s offices situated at Cairo, Riyadh, Nairobi and Silicon Valley and ITG Agriculture’s farm in Jordan.
HASSAD will cover grounds on both AgriTech and Agri-food, like sustainable inputs, Circular Economy, Digi-farming and supportive technologies in energy, food and water.
HASSAD is already accepting applications for the first 3-month long business acceleration program. The application process is detailed on their Website.
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