Changing Tactics – Asia’s New Agritech Revolution
In August, United Nations scientists revealed that, worldwide, farmable land is being destroyed at a rate up to 100 times faster than the rate at which new land is being developed. It’s just one of the many pressures currently faced by the global agricultural sector. In addition to substantial decreases in usable land, countries like Japan are also negotiating realities like severe labour shortages – with the number of personnel employed by the Japanese farming industry having shrunk by 60% since 1985.
Against this backdrop, Asia’s agricultural sector is undergoing a major technological revolution. In China, drones, AI and cloud-computing are increasingly being used to address labour shortages, boost crop yields and increase supply chain efficiency. In anticipation of forecast water shortages, the Japanese government recently started using data analysis to minimise water wastage across the sector. In Australia, scientists are attempting to boost crop photosynthesis to ensure greater yield from Australian farms. Singapore’s farming sector is currently in the midst of rejuvenation – with science and technology helping the country produce more food, and with greater efficiency, than it was delivering ten years ago.
The impacts of these innovations stretch far beyond the immediate agricultural sector. In fact, it’s unlikely many of these innovations will remain confined to a single business area; China is already using agricultural drones to address urban pollution. For any brand engaged in business encompassing food and beverage, these kinds of technologies will represent multiple major shifts for stakeholders – touching on issues as diverse as automation, genetic modification and customer service expectations.