Yara Africa & Asia opens Thryve Innovation Colab in Singapore: A game-changer for food security and smallholder farmers

Yara Innovation , Knowledge

In a landmark event for food security and smallholder farmers, Yara Africa & Asia launched the Thryve Innovation Colab on May 23, 2023. This cross-industry collaborative platform aims to spearhead a green shift in our food systems. It seeks to enhance prosperity for over 70 million smallholder farmers across Africa and Asia.

The event featured the official launch of Thryve by H.E. Eivind S. Homme, Ambassador of Norway to Singapore, and Mr. Lee Chuan Teck, Executive Chairman of Enterprise Singapore. Ambassador Homme expressed optimism that Norway and Singapore will see groundbreaking solutions to global challenges. He believes this will happen as more players co-innovate through Thryve. Additionally, Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara International, underscored Yara’s unwavering commitment to pioneering sustainable solutions for agriculture and improving livelihoods. Over 80 partners and stakeholders gathered for an immersive event. They explored vital themes such as climate neutrality, regenerative agriculture, and community prosperity through interactive and engaging activities.

Following the event, we had the privilege to speak with Fernanda Lopes Larsen, Executive Vice President Africa & Asia, Yara International. She shares insights into Yara’s vision and the pivotal role of Thryve in fostering sustainable food systems.

Yara’s vision for a world without hunger, a planet respected

“Yara is a global frontrunner in crop nutrition solutions, and we envision a low-carbon food future where resilient and sustainable food systems are central to our mission of growing a nature-positive food future. With burgeoning populations and escalating climate concerns, coupled with other food security challenges such as soil degradation and water scarcity, it is imperative that we find ways to increase food production responsibly. Additionally, farmers form the backbone of food security in many parts of the world, including our region. Yet, their needs are often overlooked. We must support our farmers,” asserts Lopes Larsen.

Thryve innovation colab: A testament to innovation and collaboration

“Thryve exemplifies Yara’s dedication to innovation and collaboration for a low-carbon food future. It will focus on strategic and specific challenges faced by smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia Pacific. Given the complexity of these challenges, we require bold and innovative solutions. This is where Thryve comes in; more than just an innovation hub, it’s a beacon of hope for smallholder farmers and a center for groundbreaking agricultural advancements. This platform will see us co-develop, scale, and commercialize solutions,” Lopes Larsen elaborates.

Thryve’s innovation activities will focus on climate neutrality, regenerative farming, and prosperity for farming communities. These efforts are crucial in tackling food insecurity and supporting efforts towards achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Innovative projects which Thryve partners could explore to transform the food system, include:

  • Digital tools for precision farming
  • Soil health enhancement initiatives
  • Climate neutral farming practices

An emphasis on Africa & Asia smallholder farmers

“Singapore’s vibrant innovation ecosystem and strengths as a pivotal hub for Southeast Asia enable us to leverage top-tier capabilities and digital expertise. Singapore has consistently been recognized as Asia’s most innovative nation. The country boasts a pro-business environment, hosting many Fortune 500 companies and serving as a regional management and commercial hub. The state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and world-class talent pool make Singapore an ideal location for forward-looking innovation,” Lopes Larsen observes.

Yara Africa & Asia aims to empower and grow prosperity for over 70 million smallholder farmers in the region by addressing the unique challenges they encounter, such as:

  • Climate change
  • Limited access to funds
  • Insufficient use of data and technology

An example of a partner that has embarked on a journey with Thryve is The World Bank. According to Parmesh Shah from The World Bank, “Thryve is a unique opportunity for us because there has not been a dedicated incubator and accelerator for smallholder farmers. Thryve might be the one which creates a niche.”

Collaborative efforts for amplified impact

“Thryve is driven by collaboration. By banding together and co-innovating as one, we unlock the potential within our resources and scale impactful solutions, mitigating risks along the way. Through funding, nurturing, and launching groundbreaking ideas, Thryve aims to amplify its impact on economies and the food system. We forge new pathways in agriculture, cultivating a future where food security is ensured, and which supports thriving people, farms, businesses, and our planet. We invite like-minded individuals and organisations, regardless of whether you are a start-up, agri-food player, tertiary institution, or government body, to join us in this endeavor,” states Lopes Larsen.

The value of NBAS and the Norwegian business community

“Together with Team Norway, NBAS, and our Norwegian business community, we look forward to closely collaborating to expand the Norwegian footprint in Singapore and drive growth. With Yara’s extensive agricultural expertise, a century of R&D knowledge, and broad smallholder farmer networks, we aim to proactively contribute to the region’s development and broader societal goals. These goals include reducing climate change emissions and achieving zero hunger,” Lopes Larsen concludes.

Join Yara Africa & Asia on this transformative journey to co-innovate. Foster new frontiers in agriculture and shape a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come.