Session #3: Access to Food throughout MENA Nations

Thursday, October 29, 2020 6:00 pm till 7:30 pm · Zoom Webinar

About The Meetup

To achieve food security, all segments of the population should be able to physically access food supplies and be able to afford a healthy level of nutrients intake regardless of their income levels. 

With all the political, military, environmental, and health related challenges imposed on MENA countries, many opportunities arise for startups to assure access to food for all. 

Join us to hear from leading entrepreneurs and experts about the power of entrepreneurship in empowering families and local agri-food businesses to profitably provide nutritious, safe and healthy food to the population in the MENA Region. 

This is the third 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 for 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


Soha 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.


Richardos Lebbos

Founder & CEO of Startchy

Richardos is the founder and CEO of the US-based company Startchy Inc. He won the Lebanon Agripreneur of the year in 2017 and has been all over the world spreading the positive impact of Startchy. Startchy, a research and development house, developed a 100% natural liquid that once sprayed on fresh produce creates a transparent, edible and shiny layer that acts as a barrier to gases. This novel technology helps extend twice the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by reducing the oxidation without the need for cold storage.


Maya el Hage

Livelihoods and Innovation Policy Officer - WFP Lebanon

Working with WFP since 2017, Maya is currently leading WFP Lebanon’s work with agricultural value chains and cooperative support, as well as individual capacity building within the national food system. Prior to WFP, she worked with Save the Children between 2013 and 2017 on multi-sectoral programs, with a special focus on Livelihoods. She also worked with World Vision between 2012 and 2013 on economic development initiatives targeting small business in refugee camps in South Lebanon.


Elias Ghadban

Regional Advisor for Food Security Issues - ESCWA

Regional Advisor for Food Security Issues at ESCWA, Elias Ghadban is a socio-economist with a professional experience in designing and implementing national and regional agriculture development projects. He has a solid background in programming agriculture livelihoods under forced displacement in 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, agriculture policy development, regional agriculture trade integration, and climate smart agriculture programming. He gained a strong theoretical and empirical experience in conflict mitigation and prevention by programming livelihoods solutions. Elias is an expert in tailored policy development to strengthen food security at national and regional levels, 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 in agri-food systems, functional food and health, and food security assessment are his current field of interest.

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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.