To start off the day, investors in the sustainable agriculture space, including Omnivore, Acumen, and Root Capital, discussed their investment philosophy and portfolios. Following this, we heard from investment banks, the US government, the IFC, the academic community, and heavy hitters in the agriculture space like Coca-Cola and John Deere – all of whom have a stake in sustainable agriculture. I was personally most fascinated by the work of AgDevCo – a non-profit that takes the early stage risk of setting up sustainable agriculture projects in Africa and then hands them over for private sector investment.
After that it was time to share Driptech’s exciting success so far on the Investment Opportunities panel, where I discussed our cutting edge technical development, rapidly growing manufacturing capabilities, and distribution through strong local partners. I also got to share some news fresh from the field – some of our farmers are seeing their crops go for 2x the price per kilogram they sold for before due to dramatically higher quality. (Below, learning about this in Hubli, India.)
Driptech’s simple but powerful mission seemed to resonate deeply with all kinds of people, from industry to government to bloggers. Additionally, as one participant pointed out, my outfit had ended up matching Driptech’s logo, making for a particularly striking presentation. A subconscious sign of innate devotion? All I can say is that my lifelong favorite color is green, and, having spent six years in New York, I also own a lot of black.
Finally, I’d like to share a couple of great statistics that reinforced for me the urgency of Driptech’s mission:
- From Columbia University - the world’s population is expected to increase by 3 billion people by 2050, but 80% of all farmland in the world is already being cultivated
- From the USDA - remaining cultivable land is particularly scarce in Asia – only 15 million hectares remain versus 123 million in Latin America and over 200 million in Africa