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Agri-Food

Innovation

Transforming Southeast Asia’s food system – which is characterized by a vast number of small-scale rural enterprises – into one which is more efficient, resilient and sustainable requires that we innovate in a broader and more inclusive way. The challenge is that the landscape is highly fragmented, despite most companies and governments recognizing that they cannot drive farm-gate adoption alone. Tackling these siloed delivery systems requires an innovation ecosystem involving multiple stakeholders, who can collectively unlock capacity and investments in agri-food innovation. 

Grow Asia’s Agri-Food Innovation Flagship accelerates the adoption of climate-smart innovations and digital solutions across Southeast Asia.

1. Building Partnerships

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Creating a virtual repository of information including guides and resources on climate-smart innovations and digital tools, which will facilitate the creation of a virtual community of practice. 

Working with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to launch Food Innovation Hubs in the region - starting with Viet Nam -  that will complement those that are being developed in Colombia, India and Europe.

2. Fostering Innovation

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Grow Asia has run Innovation Challenges in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, where entrepreneurs build digital solutions to solve specific challenges in smallholder value chains. We provide tools such as data, mentors and access to farmers. Over 300 people on 70 teams have competed in Grow Asia Hackathons to date.

Grow Asia has organized a Human Centered Design (HCD) Training, as part of previous innovation challenges - immersion programs for startup founders and corporate leaders to meet with farmers in the field and apply a HCD approach to solving smallholder problems in agriculture value chains.

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.

The Digital Directory is a database of close to 70 digital agriculture solutions for smallholder value chains, which are 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 and provides information on solutions and also contact details so new partnerships can emerge.

The Grow Asia Digital Learning Series (DLS) 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, carbon markets for smallholder farmers, satellite imaging, understanding smallholder agritech business models, and logistics tech for the agriculture industry. 

3. Driving Adoption

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Facilitate startup-corporate partnerships that help to increase the adoption of climate-smart solutions and farmer-centric digital tools.

Facilitate pilot projects that serve as proofs of concept for emerging technologies.

4. Strengthening Policy Environments

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Grow Asia engages in ongoing capacity building with policymakers and regulators to identify and address the many policy hurdles that are impeding the uptake of innovative solutions, and to improve and harmonize policy frameworks across ASEAN.

Want to get involved?

Contact:

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Lead, Innovation

Grow Asia's work on Agri-Food Innovation is supported by:

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