Some of the key trends of recent years in Asia’s agriculture include focus on food security, sustainable agriculture, and adoption of modern agriculture technologies. In 2023, we will likely see these trends continue to gain momentum.
Let’s look at some country-specific developments in Asia’s agriculture for 2023.
- The European Union (EU) clarifies its stance on palm oil and reached a provisional agreement stating deforestation-free and legally produced palm oil will continue to be placed on the EU market. The agreement will enter into force after being formally adopted by co-legislators which is expected to take place during the first half of 2023.
- In China, one of the biggest greenhouses in the world, Kaisheng Haofeng, plans to populate its nurseries with robots for harvesting and packaging in 2023.
- Indonesia plans to implement a 3.5% biodiesel mandate (B35) as early as January 2023 to increase domestic Indonesian palm oil demand, providing support for palm oil prices and other oilseeds in the vegetable oil complex, such as canola. The government said it is taking this step to combat rising crude oil prices and to reduce the country’s GHG emissions.
- India, as the largest producer and fifth-largest exporter of millets in the world, plans to step up promotion of the whole grain while positioning itself as the “global hub for millets” after the United Nations declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets on the initiative of the Indian government.
- Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports to China may increase by 20% to 30% in 2023 thanks to smoother transport, quicker customs clearance, and more efficient and transparent regulations and procedures under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
- Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture plans to establish a “pineapple metropolis” in the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan in 2023 to support pineapple growers in the country.
- The National University of Singapore’s Research Centre on Sustainable Urban Farming (SUrF) aims to facilitate multidisciplinary research in the field of indoor urban farming. Research plans in 2023 include development of management solutions using sensors, data science, and AI, indoor farm robotics, and novel plant varieties using genome editing, among others.
- Philippine-based Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) will ramp up agriculture investments in 2023, which include investments into Philippine’s coconut sector and hydroponics, as well as construction of a dairy farm facility producing fresh milk and other milk derivatives.
- Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI) has provided about RM10 million in funding to some agriculture-related drone companies in the country. The local drone industry is set to contribute RM50.71 billion to Malaysia’s GDP by 2030, and MRANTI has also built a “drone excellence centre” slated to be completed in 2023.
- Cambodia is poised for better growth forecast in 2023 thanks to rising global demand, foreign investors’ confidence, and a full reopening of borders. The newly-ratified free trade agreements, namely the RCEP and the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) will help boost Cambodia’s agriculture and agro-processing industries in 2023.