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Join industry leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, startups, investors, researchers, students, and visionaries who will meet on this virtual platform to discuss the evolution of the agri-food sector in uncertain times and exchange the most exciting innovations and opportunities in food and agriculture.

For the second consecutive year, Berytech, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon, is organizing Agri-Food Innovation Day (AFID).

This year, the event will be virtual, and this could only mean one thing: You can join us from anywhere in the world! Meet experts from across the entire agri-food value chain, network with new businesses and investors, build strategic partnerships, and put your agri-food venture on the fast track to growth and success.



What is the future of the agri-food sector? How could innovation and sustainability become the premise for its growth?

In Lebanon, the agri-food sector has long suffered from lack of support and good governance that would have created a vision and strategy for its growth. It remained left out from major economic restructuring and growth plans and uncapable of accompanying the growth and evolution of other sectors, locally and worldwide. The economic crisis and impeding pandemic have just come as the tip of the iceberg, unveiling a worsened situation. The sector needs a new positioning that reinforces national pride.

The vision is to achieve a vibrant, growing, and sustainable agriculture sector that offers improved livelihoods for rural and urban communities, not only in Lebanon but in the whole region.

This panel will bring national and international speakers, highlighting a unified vision for the agriculture sector among different stakeholders, improving food security, and optimizing practices for sustainability and innovation in the sector.


Tessa Terpestra photo

Tessa Terpstra

Program Manager · Diplomat · Bridge builder for human rights & sustainable goals

Tessa Terpstra is the first Dutch Envoy for Water and Energy Security for the MENA region. She is based in Jordan since the summer of 2016 and deals with climate change and the water-energy-food nexus in the Middle East and North Africa.

In her capacity as Regional Envoy, Tessa focuses on regional cooperation towards sustainable governance of natural resources, in light of ever growing resource scarcity due to climate change. Tessa established a regional water center of excellence in Jordan, to share best practices of water supply and reuse in agriculture. She also works with a consortium led by Berytech on a program to boost entrepreneurs in water and energy efficient food production in MENA, co-financed by USAID, SIDA and GiZ.

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Elias Ghadban

Regional Advisor for Food Security Issues at ESCWA

Elias Ghadban is a socio-economist with an extensive experience in designing and implementing agriculture development projects, in particular under forced displacement (MENA and SSA). Elias holds a Master of Sciences in Agriculture Engineering from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and a PhD in Development studies from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He has been involved in agriculture value chains development through need assessment, priorities identification, rapid response interventions, and evaluation. He has also gained a strong theoretical and empirical experience in conflict mitigation and prevention. Elias is an expert in tailored policy development for food security,

His current role at ESCWA focuses on providing technical assistance to member states on issues related to food security,

Rural economy and sociology, refugees’ agricultural livelihoods, agriculture and climate change, social capital initiation, functional food and health, and food security assessment are his current field of interest.

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Wafaa El Dikah Hamzé

Senior Advisor · Agriculture & Int'l Cooperation Former Minister · MoA

Ms. Wafaa El-Dikah Hamzé is an agriculture and rural development specialist. She is Senior Adviser for international cooperation and policy development at the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture. She also serves as Delegate of Lebanon to CIHEAM governing board.

She was appointed Minister for Parliamentary Affairs in 2004 and between 2013 and 2016 she served as Regional Adviser at UN-ESCWA, and as Independent Consultant in rural and Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 with UN Women and League of Arab States.

El-Dikah is a prominent activist for Human Rights and Women’s Rights and founding member of Arab Woman Organization (AWO) and recently member of its Executive Council.  She pursued her Post Graduate Courses in Rural Extension and Participatory Rural Appraisal in the Netherlands and Management of Programs, in Germany and holds an MSc in crop production and rural development (1988), from the American University of Beirut.

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Charbel Hanna

Program Management and Technical Specialist · Agro-Business and Rural Development · USAID

Charbel Hanna holds an Agricultural Engineering Bachelor Degree and a Masters Degree in Plant Protection from the Lebanese University. He comes with sixteen years professional experience in the field of development, beginning with World Vision International and UNDP, and for the past eight years and ongoing in the capacity of Project Management Specialist at the Economic Growth Office of USAID/Lebanon. 

His current portfolio includes leading the assessment, design, management, coordination, and evaluation of programs/projects/activities within USAID’s Economic Growth Portfolio, responsible for the management of USAID’s development mechanisms, and providing overall strategic guidance to the Mission within the agribusiness and rural development technical areas.

Recently, Charbel served as a Project Management Specialist with the Economic Development Office of the USAID Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he worked on developing, managing, and monitoring activities related to finance, economics, local economic development, and private sector development.

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Nadine El Khoury photo

Nadine Khoury

COO of Robinson Agri · President of QOOT

After graduating in 1995 with a B.S. in Agriculture Engineering from the American University of Beirut, Nadine Khoury started working at Robinson Agri, the company founded by her father Sami El Khoury. Nadine ascended the role of COO, directly contributing to the expansion of the Greenhouse & Seed businesses of Robinson Agri, and the establishment of Agrigrow – a professional plant nursery.

Over the course of her career, Nadine has served as a member of different professional associations like LDBA, the Association of Lebanese Industrialists and Byblos Industrialists Assembly, and recently as a board member in WLC and in Agrytech Program, also as the President of QOOT Agri-Food Innovation Cluster.

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KEYNOTE · 3:15 TILL 3:30 PM



How can technology transform today’s food and agriculture sectors? How can we achieve food security on the long run?

With her inspirational journey of becoming the CEO of ITK, a large agri-tech company with a high impact on improving agriculture, Bsaibes will talk about transforming the sector to achieve food security needs by moving to sustainable practices based on science and technology. Her talk will show how the sector provides a major market to develop talents and launch startups for scientists and engineers in data, computers, artificial intelligence and robotics to name a few. 


CEO of itk

Aline BSAIBES is the CEO of itk, an agritech SME based in France that develops applications, decision support tools, and data analysis services for all actors of the agriculture value chain.

After an experience as a field engineer for a USAID program in Lebanon. She has been involved in agriculture digital transformation for 12 years, first as a scientific crop modeler, and then a project manager in charge of the integration of crop models behind Decision Support Tool intended for agronomic advice in France and the USA.

Then she was the Strategy and Business Development Director of ITK where she also gained a strong experience in growing business.

Aline is an agricultural engineer with an M.Sc. in irrigation and soil physics from the American University of Beirut, a Ph.D. in agricultural modeling from the French National Institute of Agronomical Research (INRA) and holds an Executive MBA from EMLyon Business School.

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Will the financial crisis reinforce the implementation of circular economy principles? What is the role of clusters in catalyzing it?



Around the world, clusters play a pivotal role in the recovery of ailing economies. They are key players that contribute collaboratively to the next normal. But how do clusters and collaborative initiatives help craft a new improved normal?

 In this discussion led by QOOT, Lebanon’s Agri-Food Innovation Cluster, speakers from around the world will represent the breadth of the cluster ecosystem and offer opportunities to explore new strategies for transformation.

Hear voices from leading experts, take practical tips and connect with members and partners from the QOOT Cluster.

The panel will highlight how circular ambitions have been affected by the economic crisis and will make a better understanding on the role of clusters in the circular transition.


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Nadim Abdo

Programs Director at arcenciel

Nadim Abdo is the Programs Director at arcenciel, Lebanon’s largest independent social enterprise.

Nadim worked as Sociologist and Urban Planner at the Town Planning Department of Solidere in Beirut. He is a board member of the Lebanese Federation of Youth Hostels, vice president of Ecolodge association, founding member of the Lebanese Social Entreprises association and board member of “Les Scouts du Liban”.

Nadim holds a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the American University of Beirut and an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.

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Lucia Seel Photo

Lucia Seel

Member of European Cluster Expert Group of the European Commission

Lucia Seel has more than 16 years of experience in international innovation and cluster policies and cluster development and management.

In 2011 Lucia started her own consultancy, focusing on the development and management of European projects, support for international cooperation in the field of innovation and clustering, cultural and creative industries, training and international networking.

Lucia is a well-known speaker and moderator at international conferences and workshops. She graduated from the Academy of Economic Sciences in Bucharest/Romania. She worked both for multinational companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi Centrade in Bucharest and Silhouette International in Linz/Austria as well as for small companies in Austria and public administration bodies in Austria and Romania.

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Soha Atallah

Founder of Libanpack

Soha Atallah is an international industrial expert, with extensive experience in industrial development, packaging, marketing and food safety throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.

Over the past 20 years, she has provided packaging and labeling design services to more than 200 industrial companies around the world.

As a proactive player in Lebanese industry, she founded LibanPack, the Lebanese Packaging Centre, and has raised the bar on packaging development through the organization of Arab StarPack, a yearly regional competition for both professionals and students.

Soha holds a Masters degree from the Lebanese American University, and has completed an executive course on Strategic Marketing Management at the Harvard Business School.

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Hammam Samad

Executive Manager at Lama Foods

Hammam Samad is currently the Executive Strategist of Lama Foods in the Gulf region.

He pursued his undergraduate studies at The American University of Beirut, graduating with a Bachelor of Sciences in Chemical engineering and a Minor in Chemistry, which was followed with a 1st Class Honors Masters Degree in Biopharmaceutical Engineering at University College Dublin, Ireland.

His endorsement into research, engineering and sciences did not hinder his interest in economics and data analytics. To him, Data will be the world’s future oil.

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Rodrigue Balaa

Chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the Issam Fares Faculty of Technology

Dr. Rodrigue El Balaa holds a PhD. in Agricultural Engineering from the Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine – Nancy – France.

He is the Chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Engineering Technology at the Issam Fares Faculty of Technology of the University of Balamand.

He is an expert in Agricultural Value Chains and has been involved in and managed numerous studies and development projects funded by international donors.

Dr. El Balaa is die hard supporter of the quintuple innovation helix framework which involves an environment of collaboration between universities, industry, government, and civil society within a knowledge economy.

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Jamil Haddad

Founder of Colonel Brewery

Jamil Haddad is the founder of Colonel Project, a microbrewery that produces and fosters the culture of high-quality craft beer, on a green platform in the heart of Batroun city.

After pursuing rigorous research, attending several workshops in the UK, and touring different breweries and beer festivals in Europe, Jamil mastered the craft and became proficient at it.

The Colonel Project presents a unique concept to the market; consists of Colonel Microbrewery and Colonel Brewpub & Restaurant. In addition to their beer, Colonel’s micro-distillery is also now producing a new range of crafted spirits: gin, vodka, and Arak.

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PITCHING · 4:30 TILL 6:00 PM


Watch Promising Agri-Food Startups present Their Innovative Solutions for the first time


Startups enrolled in the Agrytech Accelerator Program will debut their products and services for the first time to the public. For the past eleven months, and despite all the challenges they faced, the eight startups have worked to develop their solutions solving agri-food challenges across the entire value-chain, using science and technology, with the plan to scale their business worldwide. Join us to hear more about their innovations and growth plans.




Grow your professional network

In parallel to ongoing activities, use the AFID Platform to connect to like-minded professionals, startup founders, investors, researchers and students. The virtual networking wall will be open for introductions, shared ideas, professional discussions and industry talk.


Future agro challenge logo
Unrwa logo
Park innovation logo
Rural entrepreneurs logo
Arc en ciel Logo
René Mouawad Logo
Beirut AI logo
Boecker logo
GWR logo
Noiyo logo
Waterlution logo
209 lebanese wine logo
Abido Spices Logo
Shuman Logo
Al Rifai Logo
Almaza Logo
Bioland Logo
Cafe Abi Nasr Logo
Cave Des Ours Logo
Chateau Kefraya Logo
Colonel Beer Logo
Compost Baladi Logo
Crown Flour Mills Logo
Daher Food Logo
Digimart Logo
Eshmoon Logo
Go Baladi Logo
Gout Blanc Logo
Grapeful Logo
Hum N Go Logo
Unipak Logo
Karma Lebanon Logo
Muse Logo
Lama Logo
LibanJus Logo
Liban Pack Logo
Mr Leaves Logo
Natagri Logo
Riachy Vineyards Logo
Rigino Logo
Robinson Agri Logo
Smart Gourmet Logo
Teknologix Logo
The Dry Company Logo
The Good Thymes Logo
Unifert Logo
Zakka Technologies Logo
Zejd Logo

Registration is closed

The Virtual Agri-Food Innovation Day 2020 is organized under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub initiative, a new out-of-the-box approach by Berytech and co-funded by the Kingdom of The Netherlands, aimed at strengthening business advancement, economic growth and job creation in the Agri-food and Cleantech sectors in Lebanon.

With the unwavering support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, this event is organized as part of Berytech’s mission to promote the agri-food sector in Lebanon and its commitment to applying the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

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