Temasek, Rabobank, and PwC released the report titled “The Asia Food Challenge Report: to Harvesting the Future” today, and it was launched at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Week that is being held in Singapore. The report in question deals with the food and agricultural space in Asia. In the report, it has been revealed that investments to the tune of as much as $800 billion are needed if the food and agricultural sector in the continent is to stay at current levels.
The report revealed that such investments would be necessary if the continent is to feed itself over the next 10 years. The report went on to state that as much as $550 billion worth of investments are going to be necessary to take care of the entire food and agricultural ecosystem in the continent. That would include considerations like health, sustainability, and safety. The report recommended that the rest of the $250 billion should be used to raise the supply of food to the continent substantially.
Asia Pacific Deals Strategy & Operations Leaders of PwC Singapore, Richard Skinner, spoke about the challenged and possible solutions. He said,
Asia faces a crossroads. On the one hand, current lack of investment, and the slow development and use of technology across the food & agriculture supply chain has held us back and left us dependent on others. On the other, we can reverse that by being at the forefront of technological innovation, disruption and use, transforming the industry and bringing benefits to the consumer, returns to corporates & investors and value adding jobs across Asia.
That being said, it is also important to point out that that report also stated that the investments are also going to generate solid returns. The investments will result in the market growth of 7% per annum, and such returns could make well to be highly attractive for some entities. It stated that such investment would take the total spending on food in Asia to $8 trillion by 2030.
It added that as climate change has its effect, the demand for healthy food is going to go up in Asia considerably, and that presents an excellent investment opportunity. Head of RaboResearch, Food & Agribusiness at Asia, RaboBank, Ping Chew, spoke about the importance of innovation. He said,
Asia needs innovation and technology to transform its Agri-Food system into one that is ecologically and economically sustainable. Only through working together with shared responsibility and acting now can Asia feed itself while preserving the planet for future generations.
The report has revealed that technology is going to be one of the most important things that are going to help drive the change. The use of big data, blockchain, internet of things, and robotics is expected to overhaul the agricultural scenario in the continent completely.
At this point, Asia is behind North America and Europe when it comes to the usage of technology in agriculture. The report has recommended that greater collaboration between the public and private sectors could help in correcting this issue.