Over the last 15 years or so, mobile and smartphone ownership and mobile coverage in rural Southeast Asia have increased steadily. As a result, farmers and agribusinesses are increasingly using digital technologies to address challenges faced by the smallholder agriculture sector – including volatile commodity prices, limited access to markets, inputs, credit and training, as well as changing weather patterns. There are systemic challenges, however, that need public sector and donor support to overcome, particularly to drive positive outcomes for smallholder farmers.
This report (1) illustrates how seven different digital technologies are reshaping agriculture in the region and (2) highlights how the strategic investment decisions of organizations like the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) could shape and accelerate the adoption of technologies with the potential to transform rural economies and food systems by making them more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable.
While commissioned by and targeted towards IFAD, the findings in this report are relevant to any donor or investor in the agritech space.