Session #1: Stability Of MENA Food Supply Without Interruptions

October 14, 2020 6:00 pm till 7:30 pm · Zoom Webinar

About The Meetup

Civil conflicts, currency devaluations, wars, seasonal changes, and natural disasters decrease food supplies and disrupt the long agriculture and food supply chains of the twenty-first century.

Join us on this new Berytech Meetups session to hear from leading entrepreneurs and experts about the power of entrepreneurship in empowering local agri-food businesses to drastically shorten their supply chains, and families to grow their own food. 

In this session, you will also learn about how you can launch your innovative business and help Lebanon and the MENA region increase the stability of food supplies to our populations.

This is the first session of the Berytech Meetups’ Food Security in the MENA region Series. Through this 4-session series, you will connect with international experts and entrepreneurs building the 4 pillars of food safety in a post COVID19 world: Availability, Access, Utilization, and Stability.

Join us on this series to harness their expertise and life experiences and learn how you can address, at a profit, the challenges of building a vital safety net for MENA populations.

Meet The Speakers


Souha Nasser

Berytech Agri-food Expert

Soha is passionate about Innovation, ever since her academic journey in Agri-Food Engineering. She worked on creating a biodegradable food packaging film in her senior project. Driven by her passion, she started her career in Product Development and R&D and continued to grow in the field between poultry and dairy industries in Lebanon. For almost 6 years, and in addition to her product development skills, she acquired a wide experience in Marketing, Market Research, Business Processes, Quality Assurance and Quality Control. On top of her technical experience, Soha is also passionate about Leadership and Talent Development and believes in making a positive impact by using both passions.


Rita Asmar

Ground Vertical Farming Co-Founder & CEO

Rita Asmar Harmouche is the Co-founder and CEO of Ground Vertical Farming, a Lebanese Startup dedicated to provide complete vertical farming solutions for agricultural businesses and greenhouse owners. Rita is overseeing the planning, development, and execution of Ground’s business initiatives. She splits her time between being a first-time motherhood and co-founding Ground Vertical Farming. Despite all the challenges this year has brought to the world and Lebanon, Rita describes this experience as hectic, interesting, fulfilling and satisfying. 

She has been also working as a sales executive in a pharmaceutical company for the past 6 years, promoting the company’s products to healthcare professionals and educating them on the value of the offered products.

Rita holds a Biochemistry degree from USEK University and a Master degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology. She graduated with honors and was granted the Dr Moussa award for having the Highest GPA in the master of science degree.


Rachel Bahn

Food Security Program Coordinator - AUB

Rachel Bahn is the coordinator of the Food Security Program and an instructor of agribusiness at the American University of Beirut. Her research interests include food security and food systems, and economic policies and programming in developing county contexts. Previously based in Washington, DC, she served as an economist with the United States Department of Treasury and the United States Agency for International Development. She holds degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Malak Jaafar

Head Of Communication & Spoke Person - World Food Program, Lebanon

Malak Jaafar is a communications specialist working in the humanitarian aid world. She is currently the spokesperson and the head of communications department for the United Nations World Food Programme in Lebanon. She has been with WFP for a little more than a year and was previously with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Lebanon, Cairo and Geneva for five years.


Souhad Abou Ziki

Economist & Research Consultant, Rural Entrepreneurs

Souhad is passionate about rural development and has been fortunate enough to work in this realm with Rural Entrepreneurs, an NGO that promotes entrepreneurship as a tool for socio-economic change in rural communities. In the NGO, she designs and implements rural livelihoods, food security and social entrepreneurship programs. She also works in economic research and has authored diverse non-academic and academic articles and reports. 

She holds a BA in Economics and MSc in Agriculture Economics and Development from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Places are limited. Get your access ticket now.

About Berytech Meetups

Berytech Meetups is a program powered by the Global Innovation of Science and Technology network (GIST), initiated by the U.S. Department of State, aiming at building a strong and vibrant network of entrepreneurs in Lebanon focusing on science and technology.

This year, Berytech is organizing Meetups powered by GIST with a series tackling five (5) major issues for Lebanon and the MENA region: Food Security in the MENA Region, Social Entrepreneurship in Lebanon, Renewable Energy, Solid Waste Management, and Raising a Generation of Coders.

Need more info?

If you have any questions about Berytech’s Meetups Program, please email Ms. Maria Chahine at, and she will get back to you.