The agricultural industry has the potential to change several communities, significantly. This industry has sustained the world’s population for decades, and with new advancements in technology, it has reached a turning point with the potential of creating a larger impact than before.
Following the aforementioned, Jordanian engineer, Abdel Rahman Alzubaidi, worked on creating Ivvest: the Jordanian startup that is set to change the way the agricultural sector operates in Jordan.
What is Ivvest?
Right in the heart of Amman, the Jordanian startup set its operations with the goal of producing the “greatest greens” to share with everyone through automated farming systems. The project started in 2019 when CEO and founder, Alzubaidi, was searching for ways to provide the Jordanian community with both sustainable streams of income and potential job opportunities.
After careful study, Alzubaidi discovered that the agricultural sector has the ability to create the sought-after opportunities. “When properly tended to, this sector can positively enhance our daily lives and not only in regard to food provisions,” stated Alzubaidi. Using innovative ways to enhance urban farming, the startup is working to benefit people, communities, and the planet.
Innovation and Modernism That Create Change
Having innovation woven into agriculture does not exclude the traditional methods we have known for years. With the continuous advancements we are witnessing, however, computer automation and robotics are now playing a key role in transforming the traditional agrarian lifestyle to increase food availability while effectively decreasing the cost of production.
According to Alzubaidi, “The world is constantly evolving, and there are various areas that are changing, mainly consumer preferences towards organic and sustainably-produced products.”
When incorporating automation into agriculture, it requires less water, labor, and land. At the same time, not only various amounts of food are being produced, but also the startup has been able to deliver them with better quality with reducing its ecological footprint due to the lower emission of greenhouse gas and reduced amount of pesticides and fertilizers.
The COVID-19 Impact
Like several other industries and businesses, COVID-19 hindered the startup’s plans and particularly the harvest, which was supposed to take place in March 2020. However, the Ivvest team also took the pandemic as an opportunity to better design their plans and adapt strategies for possible challenges that may rise in the future.
“We began to research and map obstacles we might face,” explained Alzubaidi. “We thought about creating an indoor farming system that allows us to decrease the unpredictability of climate change. This new model is set to be done by the end of this year and will enable the startup to control and monitor water, light, and air while having a higher productivity of 15 times/m2 and double the profitability of similar models. The fully automated and controlled setting it provides is specifically customized to provide the optimal environment as per each crop’s preferences.”
Online Awareness Campaigns
Back in October 2019, Ivvest secured a €20,000 fund from Joinup, a collaborative platform created by the European Commission. The Jordanian startup went on to launch several online and social media awareness campaigns. The aim was to educate the community about both personal financial management and food security in hopes of shedding light on the agricultural sector and its importance.
The Tank and Ivvest
“We cannot deny the many opportunities for growth provided to us by Umniah’s incubator, The Tank,” revealed Alzubaidi. Aside from the skills that the Ivvest team learned regarding negotiation, sales, law and logistics, the Tank further helped influence them in two more areas. “The Tank has helped us gain exposure and credibility. This was tremendously important as it allowed us to confidently step foot into the entrepreneurial scene. The networking opportunities we were exposed to enabled us to recruit our current Communication Coordinator, Raghad Meshaal.
Alzubaidi, like many other entrepreneurs, has faced bumps along the way and continues to face challenges on his journey. However, his passion, resilience, and determination to succeed give him the ability to continue despite it all. As a parting message, he addresses young creative and entrepreneurial minds in the Kingdom and around the world, “Be willing to get up every day knowing there is a new challenge waiting for you. Most importantly, you should remember that consistency is key and passion is a must.”