TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 60% of the world's population depends on agriculture for its survival. In the Unites States alone, agriculture and related industries contribute over $1 trillion to GDP. Yet, as one of the slowest sectors to adopt new technologies, the entire food system is being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. Today, Agritask, a global leader in precision agronomics, emphasized its commitment to the role of insurance solutions in catalysing the agricultural sector's resilience to acute shocks and chronic stresses. To better address the challenges of food security, Agritask has appointed Daniel Stander, a global pioneer in decision science and resilience finance, as senior advisor to its leadership team. The appointment demonstrates Agritask's intent to further expand its value to the agricultural supply chain with risk-informed, data-driven, decision-useful insights.
Daniel began advising Agritask earlier this year, helping drive the innovation required to address the productivity challenges facing growers, investors, ag-buyers and governments. Motivated by a desire to make communities and economies more resilient, Daniel has spent much of his career at the intersection of risk and strategic innovation. Over the last 20 years, he has worked on every continent, advising governments, NGOs and financial services institutions on a variety of complex risks, from natural hazards and environmental stresses to pandemics and cyber exposure. He has been a pioneer of #ResilienceFinance, helping capital find responsible investments in the face of climate extremes. Daniel spent 14 successful years at RMS. Prior to RMS, Daniel was part of the group strategy and development function at an 80,000-employee, £10bn global healthcare group, serving 30 million customers in over 190 countries. He also has considerable start-up experience, having been a founding member of an award-winning SaaS company, establishing the use of internet technologies across the insurance value chain.
Ofir Ardon, Chief Executive Officer at Agritask, said: "Daniel possesses both unrivalled industry knowledge and significant experience in growing technology companies. Businesses and governments around the world have benefited from Daniel's pragmatic approach to innovation, as well as his sensitive thought leadership. His insights are perceptive, his relationships strong and his passion infectious. These qualities will help us deliver new and differentiated value to the markets we serve, thereby increasing the relevance of our business."
Daniel's appointment follows that of Dr. Rom Aviv, an expert in insurance-linked securities, as Managing Director and Head of Insurance at Agritask. Commenting on today's news, Dr. Aviv said: "About 50% of the world's food is produced by 500 million smallholders. Yet these farmers typically do not have access to affordable insurance. There are no quick and easy solutions here. After all, agricultural insurance is complex and dynamic. However, Daniel's business acumen, relentless energy and domain experience will empower us to transform this industry with technological innovations. We are already profiting from his advice – on value-chain digitization and decision science – to the benefit of our insurance sector clients. More than that, though, Daniel's experience leading mission-driven businesses will ensure we fulfil our societal purpose of eradicating poverty and food insecurity by making crop insurance accessible to all."
Ernesto Costa, Head of Private Equity Investments at BlueOrchard and Agritask Board Member, said: "In delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, three things will be paramount: technology adoption, agricultural ecosystems and risk finance. Daniel deeply understands the importance of and the interplay between each. He is a seasoned professional and brings Agritask the kind of experience and expertise that will help the company grow by unlocking new value for its customers. I am looking forward to his contributions as we scale inclusive insurance, thereby improving the financial stability of 25 million smallholder farmers along with the quantity, quality and predictability of their yield."
Based in London, Daniel will work closely with Agritask's teams in Tel Aviv, London and Sofia, as well as Agritask's clients in South America, Africa and Asia. In addition to his role with Agritask, Daniel continues to serve as a private sector representative to the United Nations on matters of disaster risk reduction.
Daniel Stander, Senior Advisor at Agritask said, "Over 1.3 billion people worldwide work in agriculture, generating about $2.5 trillion for the global economy. More than that, there is a close correlation between agricultural performance and poverty reduction. Yet, if left unmanaged, acute and chronic risks will increasingly undermine global food security, hurting food production, disrupting supply chains and stressing people's ability to access nutritious and affordable food. Agricultural ecosystems are at an inflection point. Unprecedented opportunities exist to harness advances in remote sensing, data analytics, machine learning and climate risk finance. The significant investments Agritask is making in its agronomics platform will hasten the adoption of climate-smart food systems, increasing productivity, enhancing resilience and reducing emissions – while at the same time making agribusinesses more equitable and less volatile. The team at Agritask is already delivering value that seemed impossible just a few years ago. I am excited by the potential. I am keen to collaborate, innovate, deliver and grow."
Note: This release has been revised to remove inaccurate information about RMS.
Agritask is a holistic ag-operations platform, designed to scale fact-based decision making for agricultural businesses. The platform has been successfully deployed in more than 30 countries. It is being used by every participant in the agricultural ecosystem, including large growers, multi-farm corporations, ag-buyers, food conglomerates, private equity managers, ag-financiers, insurance companies, governments and NGOs.
The Agritask platform enables the development and delivery of highly personalized and rigorous crop insurance products, with a capacity to serve millions of smallholders in a single insurance programme. The platform registers and maps small farms, obtains field data and correlates high-resolution weather and other secondary data at the plot level. This empowers users to dynamically assess risks, design targeted insurance products and monitor crop performance at scale through the season. Using remote sensing and GIS capabilities, such as satellite-based auto-crop and auto-plot detection models, crop health monitoring and post-event damage assessment, Agritask is enabling capital to cover hitherto uninsurable risks across the agricultural value chain. For additional information, please visit: www.agritask.com
About BlueOrchard Finance Ltd
BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment manager and a member of the Schroders group. The firm is dedicated to fostering inclusive and climate-smart growth in emerging and frontier markets, while providing attractive returns for investors. BlueOrchard was founded in 2001, by initiative of the UN, as the world's first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. The firm has built a distinct track record in offering premium impact investment solutions, including credit, private equity, and sustainable infrastructure. Being an expert in innovative blended finance mandates, the firm is a trusted partner of leading global development finance institutions. BlueOrchard has invested to date more than USD 6bn for sophisticated global private and public clients, enabling tangible social and environmental impact. For additional information, please visit: www.blueorchard.com
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