Can agritech turn the tide for farmers in Southeast Asia?

Agriculture has been one of the core pillars of human existence and development over the millennia and, while it continues to serve that crucial role today, the industry faces bigger challenges by the day.

The risks driven by climate change and, more recently, the effects of  COVID-19, have contributed to declining produce outputs and farmers are struggling to make sites both sustainable and profitable. In agriculture-dependent regions like Southeast Asia, the contribution of the agriculture sector has been steadily declining from 2003 towards 2016, as shown in recently released World Bank data.

Farmers are looking for solutions that can drive efficiencies to save costs and increase yields, and this has led to the intersect between agriculture and next-generation technologies, otherwise known as agritech.

In Cambodia, local startup Agribuddy is employing crowdsourced approach to gathering agriculture data that can be shared. The social enterprise system is collected via Agribuddy’s mobile app from connected farmers, agricultural traders, and others in the local agribusiness value chain to solve problems directly facing their local agriculture economy. The result is collective intelligence.

The app’s network of smallholder farms, or ‘Buddies’, can not only share and access information, but can also build a credit scoring profile by interacting that will then enable access to microloans and credits.