“It is quite clear that 2022 was a challenging year for the global food system, to say the least. It revealed several structural weaknesses in the wake of challenges such as extreme weather events, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical tensions, international conflicts and increased food waste. The year also demonstrated our inability to tackle global hunger and food security and reversed decades of hard work.
Food security, climate-resilient agriculture and agricultural finance were key topics of discussion at the recent COP27 event in Egypt and the G20 summit in Indonesia, illustrating the magnitude of the challenge. Here are some significant agri-food and agri-tech industry trends expected to accelerate in 2023.
Agri-financing and sustainability investments will soar
Expect investments in sustainability projects to continue to see momentum. The United Nation noted recently that the world has not been doing enough to help poorer nations withstand the effects of global warming. Climate adaptation finance has been woefully underfunded. This has started to change in 2022 and will accelerate in 2023.
We will see more and more of PepsiCo’s recently announced $1.25 billion 10-year Green Bond to fund eligible Green Projects, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s pledge of $1.4 billion to help smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia build climate resilience into their work practices, and the US Department of Agriculture’s plans to invest up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities plan. We expect the private sector’s contribution will see new heights in 2023.
Accelerated digitization for maximizing visibility and food system transparency
Digitization of agriculture is one way to reduce the climate impact of farming as well as the impact of looming economic slowdown in certain regions. It is expected that enterprises and governments around the world to accelerate technology investments in agriculture.
Also, there will be an increased focus on maximizing the visibility and transparency of global food systems. This means combining expertise in multiple areas such as data science, digital applications, GIS, agri-science, agronomy, AI/ML models, weather data, IoT and drones, among others, to deliver better visibility and intelligence around the agri-production lifecycle. Organizations will be compelled to push the boundaries of science and technology to find meaningful solutions to future-proof agriculture.
Increased focus on smallholder farmer empowerment
There has been a massive focus by private players, governments and development agencies to build farmer-centric solutions over the past couple of years. This trend will probably pick up pace significantly in 2023. Global food-system stakeholders have realized that meaningful and enduring transformation of agriculture is not possible unless smallholder farmers at the grassroots level are trained and enabled to adopt smarter, more efficient and sustainable ways of farming.
Building food self-sufficiency and reducing food wastage
Nations will act in concert to become self-reliant and self-sufficient in food production to feed their citizens. Countries have recognized that building self-sufficient food systems is a strategic imperative. The high reliance on a handful of markets for major crops, staple foods and commodities such as pesticides and fertilizers puts governments and entire populations at risk of disrupted food production and the threat of food insecurity. Governments will drive the mass adoption of technology and data to help economies become self-sufficient by improving the productivity, efficiency and predictability of food supply systems.”
*This article is excerpted from freshplaza.com website, published 23rd December 2022