Event Details

The world entered 2023 in a hunger crisis. The World Food Programme estimated that the number of people facing acute food insecurity jumped from 282m at the end of 2021, to a record of 345m in 2022. As many as 50m people began 2023 on the brink of famine. With governments still fiscally burdened from the covid-19 pandemic, and still grappling with resilient but slow economic growth, this number could increase in the coming months.

As the wars in Gaza and Ukraine roll on, weak economic growth is weighing on demand. The food-price index of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, which measures the monthly change in international food prices for food commodities, has fallen gradually from its all time high in March 2022.

In conflict zones, such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Myanmar, farming will be disrupted. Climate change means extreme weather events, like the floods in Pakistan or the drought in the Horn of Africa, are becoming more common. Elsewhere, including in rich countries and large food-producing nations, the problem is simply poverty. Many people will struggle to pay for the food they need.

Join us as we discuss the consequences of food security for the region.

- What are the risks to population health?

- Why are women worst affected?

- How are children affected in the first few years of their lives?

- What is the regional situation?

- How may we reduce the impact of food insecurity?

Please note that this event is limited to senior-level executives and per invitation only. If you are not an existing member of Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, but would like to learn how you can attend our events, please send an email to eicn_sea@economist.com.


08:00 - 08:30
Registration and networking
08:30 - 09:00
Opening presentation
09:00 - 09:45
Panel discussion
09:45 - 10:00


  • Priyadarshini Sharma (Managing Director India & Southeast Asia (ISEA) of McCormick & Company)

    Priyadarshini Sharma

    Managing Director India & Southeast Asia (ISEA) of McCormick & Company

    Priyadarshini Sharma is Managing Director India & Southeast Asia (ISEA), for McCormick & Co. Based in Singapore, Ms. Sharma leads the business unit’s commercial and cross functional operations to deliver on McCormick’s growth ambitions in the region for both the B2B and the B2C business verticals.

    Ms. Sharma has over 25 years of multi-country, multi-industry experience in global blue-chip organisations. Prior to her tenure at McCormick, Ms. Sharma spent six years with Carlsberg group as part of the Asia commercial and marketing leadership team, where she has stints in Guangzhou China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Prior to Carlsberg, Ms. Sharma has worked in well-known consumer goods companies like Proctor & Gamble, Pepsi Co and Samsung in Singapore and India.

    Outside of work, Ms. Sharma is a board member, an author, a professional speaker, and a mentor for women leaders. As an avid advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), she is the executive sponsor of McCormick’s Women’s International Network (WIN) for Asia Pacific, which champions the professional growth and achievement of the female workforce at McCormick. She has recently been elected as a member of the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Singapore.

    Ms. Sharma holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, is an ICA-certified coach and has a degree certification in Board Governance from INSEAD. Having lived and worked in 5 different countries, she is fluent in five languages including English, Hindi and Mandarin Chinese. Ms. Sharma is married and has two teenage children. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, doing yoga, reading, and traveling.

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  • Vanitha Buthmanaban (Senior Nutrition Specialist - Expert Team Nutrition at FrieslandCampina Development Centre AMEA Pte Ltd)

    Vanitha Buthmanaban

    Senior Nutrition Specialist - Expert Team Nutrition at FrieslandCampina Development Centre AMEA Pte Ltd

    Vanitha Buthmanaban is currently a Senior Nutrition Specialist at FrieslandCampina Development Centre AMEA Pte Ltd. where her focus is in the area of infant and childhood nutrition, ensuring that the products under her care are nutritionally appropriate to address the needs and gaps of consumers, while being backed by nutrition science and adhering to regional and global nutritional recommendations. She studies market forces in the food and health industries, as well as gathers consumer insights to understand the demands and gaps in consumer needs, consumption patterns and the nutrition status of children around South East Asia, as part of the South East Asia Nutrition Surveys (SEANUTS II).

    A graduate of the National University of Singapore and the Flinders University of South Australia, Vanitha was inspired to pursue a career in pediatric nutrition, which led to the start of her career as a dietitian in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, followed by the Health Promotion Board, where she handled child health public nutrition programmes. Thereafter she has worked in the food industry, being part of Reckitt and FrieslandCampina. As a mother of two young children, she is passionate about contributing to a responsible nutrition environment for mothers, babies and young children, to support the nutritional needs for appropriate growth and development of the generations to come.

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  • Siddarth Jadhav (Founder and CEO, of PolyBee)

    Siddarth Jadhav

    Founder and CEO, of PolyBee

    Siddharth Jadhav is founder and CEO at Polybee, a Singapore-based startup that automates pollination and yield forecasts for fresh produce growers with drones and AI. Polybee's goal is to increase profitability for growers by improving quality of yield and predictability of crop development. Polybee is backed by Temasek Foundation, SEEDS Capital, elev8 VC and the National University of Singapore.

    Before starting Polybee, Siddharth was an associate scientist at the Temasek Laboratories at NUS, where he did research on aerial robotics, aerodynamics, and control systems. Siddharth completed his bachelor's degree in engineering at Birla Institute of Technology and Science - Pilani in India.

    On a typical day, Siddharth enjoys the process of learning about the biggest problems in agriculture from customers, brainstorming about the product with his team, and reading about the latest developments in robotics, computer vision and molecular biology.

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  • Sumana Rajarethnam (Director, South-East Asia of Economist Intelligence Corporate Network)

    Sumana Rajarethnam

    Director, South-East Asia of Economist Intelligence Corporate Network

    Sumana is a senior policy professional with 17 years of experience. Having worked at several dynamic and vibrant tech firms, Sumana designs and implements policies through advocacy, strategic communication and evidence-based analysis. With a flair for writing and communication, Sumana is able to negotiate complex engagements & cultivate senior-level internal/external relationships.

    Sumana holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, as well as a B.A. in Political Science and Geography from UCLA.

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Raffles Hotel Singapore

Casuarina Suite (Level 3) - Access via Seah Street
1 Beach Road,
Singapore 189673


If you have any questions please contact EICN SEA

Contact Organizer

+65 65345177

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