Agriculture technology or AgriTech is the use of technology to improve the efficiency and productivity of the agricultural sector. Southeast Asia's agriculture sector has faced declining agricultural productivity and a lack of adopting AgriTech (agriculture technology) innovation. On the other hand, with digital technologies, there is hope for sustainable growth in this sector. AgriTech will be able to aid and accelerate Southeast Asia's agricultural production through increased productivity, access to better data, and reduced costs by applying new technologies such as AI-powered robots, drones, sensors, satellites, and others.
Agriculture has been a pillar of the Southeast Asia economy for a long time. It provides more than 50% of the region's employment and generates around 50% of its export earnings. So, how much rising agriculture production would be if Southeast Asia completes implementing AgriTech? The following are points why Southeast Asia needs a sustainable agriculture system.
As the population of Southeast Asia continues to grow, there will be increasing demand for food, and the region's agricultural sector must be able to meet this demand sustainably. It will require a focus on sustainable practices, such as using natural fertilizers, minimizing chemicals, and maintaining the health and productivity of the region's soil and water resources.
Many of the region's farmers still use conventional farming practices that rely heavily on chemicals, which can negatively impact human health. By shifting to sustainable agriculture, it can reduce its reliance on these chemicals and help to ensure that the food produced in the region is healthy and nutritious.
The agricultural sector is a significant contributor to most Southeast Asia economies. Sustainable practices can help the government to ensure that agriculture remains economically viable and competitive in the global market. It helps create jobs and economic opportunities within the area, supporting the overall economy.
Southeast Asia is a land of abundant diversity. From lowlands to highlands, a range of topography creates various climates and temperatures. Coastal plains, hills, mountains, and alluvial regions can be found in the area, each with its unique soil quality that makes the land incredibly fertile.
Many countries in Southeast Asia have invested heavily in their agricultural sectors, providing the necessary infrastructure and support for farmers to grow and sell their crops. It has allowed the region to become a significant player in the global agricultural market, producing a wide range of crops, including rice, sugar, palm oil, and rubber.
Entrepreneurs are closely aware of food security. AgriTech start-ups from Southeast Asia have recently unveiled a range of products and solutions. Avirtech, for instance, has designed drones and an IoT system with remote sensing capabilities for plantations, ground sensors that provide in-depth data, and precision spraying for crop protection. With its drones and IoT innovation, the company has already completed some projects in digitalizing plantations and nursery areas across Indonesia and Malaysia. Moreover, there are some points that policymakers in Southeast Asia can take to transform the region's agriculture better.
Provide education and training for farmers, especially about drones and IoT.
Provide access to advanced technologies and innovative farming techniques
Support the development of solid and stable markets for agricultural products.
Promote sustainable farming practices that protect the environment.
Overall, the future of farming in Southeast Asia is likely influenced by the adoption of AgriTech. As more and more farmers in the region embrace technology and innovation, we can expect to see significant improvements in the productivity and sustainability of their operations. It will benefit farmers and consumers, who will have access to a greater variety of high-quality and affordable food.