PepsiCo announced the six companies that will be a part of the second cohort of its Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition, focused on sustainable agriculture. Following a rigorous multi-stage selection process, this year’s cohort brought forward innovative ideas across five key criteria: alignment to PepsiCo’s sustainability strategy – PepsiCo Positive (pep+) – strategic synergy with PepsiCo, scalability, relevance to MENA, and breakthrough potential.
Reigniting the partnership with UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Food Tech Valley, PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator Program intends to unlock innovative and disruptive agricultural solutions in partnership with purpose-driven start-ups from the region that share PepsiCo’s vision for a more sustainable food system.
The six shortlisted companies, Dooda Solutions, NoorNation, RoboCare, SmartWTI, Smart Green, and YY ReGen, were selected from over 180 applications across the MENA region. Each of the companies bring a unique level of expertise and innovative solution to the table from all aspects of the agriculture value chain from water preservation to soil cultivation.
Dooda Solutions, a woman-led earthworm farm from Lebanon, specializes in raising worms and producing premium-grade vermicompost (organic fertilizers) at commercial scale. NoorNation, a renewable energy start-up from Egypt, aims to provide sustainable decentralized energy and water infrastructure solutions. RoboCare from Tunisia specializes in using technology to provide a digital monitoring system for preventing the late detection of plant disease, enabling fast propagation, and reducing pesticide use.
SmartWTI, an IoT/AI solutions provider from Jordan, specializes in designing and manufacturing water management solutions to enable the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart Green, another Jordanian start-up, provides Agri-tech solutions to agribusinesses for Digital Transformation from traditional agriculture to modern agriculture. Finally, YY ReGen, another Lebanese start-up, provides innovative solutions through the promotion of renewable energy, sustainable water management, and regenerative farming. These startups have the potential to disrupt the sustainable agriculture industry and make a positive, lasting impact on society.
Each will receive an initial grant of $20,000 to support their business and help scale up their innovation, along with guided mentorship from regional subject matter professionals, as well as PepsiCo and Food Tech Valley experts. At the end of the six-month program, one winning company will be awarded an additional $100,000 in funding to continue its expansion and have an opportunity to extend its collaboration with PepsiCo to further expedite its growth.
“The UAE places great importance on strengthening its food security and overcoming the significant obstacles that hinder increasing production. Considering that local production of agricultural products and food is an essential component of this strategy, we are working to harness agricultural innovations and modern technologies to overcome the challenges facing the development of this sector, increase and improve production, and promote and consolidate the concept of sustainable agriculture. With this in mind, the country is committed to utilizing modern agricultural technology that not only boosts productivity but also aids in conserving natural resources by preventing waste and limiting carbon emissions produced by the agriculture sector and the entire food supply chain,” said His Excellency Eng. Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector – Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE).
“In light of the UAE Year of Sustainability, the ‘Greenhouse Accelerator Program’ of this year is a significant enhancement and contribution to the nation’s initiatives towards implementing modern, sustainable agriculture and food systems. As we gear up for hosting the Conference of the Parties COP28, we aim to showcase the UAE’s achievements in sustainable farming practices, exemplified by the ‘Greenhouse Accelerator Program’, in which we are proud to collaborate with PepsiCo and Food Technology Valley. Looking forward, we at the Ministry aspire to broaden our collaborative efforts with various relevant entities, both local and global, to propagate the use of modern, sustainable, and climate-smart agricultural technologies.” HE Alameeri added.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with MOCCAE and the Food Tech Valley in search of pioneering solutions that help us strengthen the resilience of our food system. This year, we have embarked on a search for transformative direct farming innovations that increase agricultural productivity while conserving our precious natural resources for the next generations. I was impressed with the caliber of the participants in the second cohort, and I am confident that together, we can blaze new trails in sustainable agriculture,” said Aamer Sheikh, CEO, Middle East – PepsiCo.
“The theme of this year’s PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Program aligns with the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 that aspires to position the country as a world-leading hub in innovation-driven food security. Our mandate at Food Tech Valley is to facilitate business growth in food tech space, and we are pleased to support this worthwhile initiative that harnesses the power of innovation for a more sustainable future,” said Ahmed AlShaibani, Project Lead at Food Tech Valley.
Introduced regionally in 2021, the winner of last year’s inaugural program of the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition, focused on sustainable packaging and recycling, was UAE-based start-up Nadeera, a social enterprise that leverages technology to promote waste sorting at source. Through its ‘Yalla Return’ product, the company applies a trash-for-cash model, providing cash rewards based on the quantity of recyclables consumers turn in.