As population growth spurs crop demand, many developing economies won't grab the full potential of their agribusiness. José de Sá, a partner with Bain's Agribusiness practice, discusses how digital can help governments in developing economies derive better insights into how to invest in agricultural activity.
Read the Bain Brief: Conquering the Food Challenge through Agriculture 3.0
Read the transcript below.
JOSE DE SA: There's a revolution going on in agriculture with digital. And this revolution comes at a critical time when population and demand growth are driving crop demand nearly 50% higher by 2050. But from our experience, a lot of the developing economies will fall short of full potential because of longstanding issues on the way governments look at this sector.
First, there is a lack of an integrated long-term agro-industrial strategy. And also, second, there is a less than desirable coordination among a plethora of stakeholders. In that sense, digital can help these governments by enabling them to have a better understanding of future potential outcomes under different scenarios. For example, with the removal of infrastructure bottlenecks, or with the full potential integration into the downstream agro-industrial chain.
For example, in a country where we worked, it became very clear through the use of advanced analytics that for a specific part of the territory it was much better to focus on cocoa production rather than bananas. Because cocoa, with a longer industrial chain, delivered a lot more GDP to the country than bananas. To that end, it is vital to use these better insights to drive more convergence among stakeholders on the best investments, actions, policies, to drive and advance an agriculture activity.
And why do that? Because what we've seen very consistently is that countries can more than double agro-industrial GDP in just 10 to 15 years. And that's a very good target to have.
The world needs more food, and new digital techniques are available to help meet that demand. But without solid planning, many countries won’t be able to rise to the occasion.