Grow Asia’s conversations with agriculture leaders in Southeast Asia have revealed that they believe digital technologies – such as tools for enabling access to financing, digital marketplaces, or traceability solutions – are set to positively transform the way smallholders interact with agribusiness value chains. These tools have the potential to bring greater efficiency to value chains by significantly lowering transaction costs, while improving farmers’ livelihoods.
Grow Asia brings together business leaders, development actors, and policymakers to accelerate the adoption of digital tools across these complementary initiatives
This series provides a regular platform for Grow Asia’s Digital Community of Practice to share learnings and insights on how digital solutions can be developed and scaled up for impact on smallholder farmers. Themes we have covered include annual overviews of the smallholder agritech landscape in Southeast Asia, reaching farmers using chat, precision agriculture, satellite imaging, smallholder agri-tech business models, and logistics tech for the agriculture industry.
2. Digital Directory
The Directory is a database of close to 70 agricultural digital agriculture solutions for smallholder value chains active in ASEAN. Digital solutions can transform the sector only if investors, agribusiness, and development actors are aware of the available solutions and come together to support their development and scale-up.
The Directory provides an entry point for those new to the sector fills that gap by providing information on solutions and also contact details so new partnerships can emerge.
If you are keen to have your smallholder-focused digital solution featured in the directory, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grow Asia organized the Directory Showcase to give startups in the Directory, and those interested to be included, the opportunity to pitch their solutions to leading investors and agrifood companies.
3. Reports and Guides
We produce comprehensive reports and guides on digital themes for business leaders. Examples include our Driving AgriTech Adoption report that provides insights from Southeast Asia’s farmers on how solution developers, corporates and the public sector can more effectively engage smallholders through digital tools. We have also authored a report on Smallholder AgriTech Business Models, which provides an overview of five business models that show the greatest potential to reach smallholder farmers at scale.
4. Innovation Challenge
Grow Asia has run Hackathons in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. We invite entrepreneurs to build digital solutions to solve challenges in smallholder value chains. These events allow entrepreneurs to be exposed to specific smallholder digital challenges and to rapidly prototype a new solution. We provide tools such as data, mentors and access to farmers. Over 300 people on 70 teams have competed in a Grow Asia Hackathon to date.
5. Digital ASEAN
Digital ASEAN is a start-up accelerator, developed in partnership with organizations including Yara and MUFG bank, to equip startup founders to scale their smallholder digital solution by providing them with learning and mentoring opportunities.14 startups were shortlisted to join selection boot camps in Singapore, with seven eventually accepted into an eight-month mentorship program with our corporate partners. Subsequently, our partners pursued pilots with the startups from the program.
Grow Asia invited startup founders and corporate leaders on a three-day immersion in Indonesia to meet with farmers in the field and learn how adopting a HCD approach applies to solving problems in agriculture value chains. The training provided participants with a toolkit to map smallholder challenges and build digital solutions that address actual needs in value chains.