Wednesday Scribbles : Agriculture in Southeast Asia – Dividend or Deterrent?

Notes from a changing world…
June 14th

“ Farmers in Southeast Asia have to produce more, provide safe food, increase incomes and adapt to climate change, all at the same time.”

–  Estrella Penuina, Secretary General, Asian Farmers Association For Sustainable Rural Development

Climate change is the largest and most evident threat to agriculture in the region. Since climate variation differs greatly across the region, a one size fits all approach is not suitable. The Mekong region, for example, has to deal with the impact of climate change on its primary water resource – the Mekong river. Whereas countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have to deal with the increasing intensity of typhoons.

Read more…

In order to face the challenges posed by global integration and climate change, most ASEAN countries are finding ways to increase their production. But in certain economies such as Vietnam, the challenge is not production, instead it is the capacity to access markets.

Read more…

The government of Cambodia has set its ambition to become one of the largest rice exporters in the world. Cambodia is actively seeking public and private investments  to combat the challenges brought about by poor irrigation systems and lack of proper rural roads.

Read more…

The group most at risk are the smallholder farmers (those farming on less than two hectares of land). They have been the backbone of agricultural growth in Asia, but are now at serious risk due to improper management of natural capital such as water and land.

Read more… 

Food wastage per capita in Southeast Asia is between 6-11 kg, which pales in comparison to Europe/North America, which is between 95-115 kg per year. However, this doesn’t take into account food loss during production and processing, an area where Southeast Asia fares rather poorly. Globally, food loss has a huge impact on the environment as the production of wasted food itself takes up 28% of the world’s arable land.

Read more…

Indoor farming is on the rise for one simple reason – it gives the producer more control. But at the same time, it takes away a lot of free energy. Produce coming out of indoor farms is generally more expensive than field grown produce. However, a Kyoto based company  ‘Spread’ has cracked this challenge by working on the volume of production and their indoor farm layout.

Read more…

For the future of agriculture to take shape, emphasis should be laid on key multi stakeholder partnerships ranging from microfinance, education to technology . Indonesia’s Integrated Supply Chain Corn Partnership is an excellent example that provides farmers with microfinance and access to new markets, thereby increasing productivity by 10% and profits by IDR 1.8 million per hectare.

Read more…

Improvement in storage and cold chain logistics systems will be a game changer for Asia’s agribusinesses. Not only will it reduce food loss and wastage, but also standardise and streamline the currently inefficient food trade distribution systems.

Read more…

Agtech (agriculture technology) will be a disrupting factor for the future of agriculture in Southeast Asia. But there is a widespread absence of well funded Agtech startups in the region. Looking at Agtech success stories in India like Trringo, an Uber like app for tractors would serve as an encouraging reference point.

Read more…

Farmers with better inputs can move towards becoming ‘Agripreneurs’. Training in relevant agricultural practices will lead to a direct increase in productivity and the quality of produce as well. Agricultural programs funded by Nestle have contributed to an increase in agricultural production in Latin America. A similar model of education and targeted technical assistance can be replicated in Southeast Asia.

Read more…

Plant factories are by far the largest segment within indoor agriculture in Asia, and Japan has the largest number with 40 percent of the market, followed by China
(See Chart)
(Disclaimer: All information quoted here is linked to the respective source articles)
Join Us!
Did you enjoy this issue? Join a community of 4000+ people interested in #Entrepreneurship, #Innovation, #SocialImpact and #EmergingMarket
 Sankalp Forum was initiated in India in 2009 by Intellecap, part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, to create a thriving ecosystem for business-led inclusive development. Over the past 8 years, Sankalp has built one of the world’s largest impact enterprise focused platforms that has showcased and discovered 1500+ entrepreneurs, through 15+ editions and have connected  them  to over 300+ investors. Sankalp have enabled enterprises and entrepreneurs and have helped raise over USD 220 million in funding. Sankalp Forum engages with Governments, Corporations, influential platforms like the G8 and G20, media and civil society to drive a paradigm shift in inclusive development approaches. For more details please visit  www.sankalpforum.com
Facebook   |   Twitter   |   linkedin
sankalpforum

Follow Sankalp Forum

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.