Food 4.0: Innovations in Asia’s food systems

Asia is a fulcrum of the global food system, both as a producer and a consumer of critical commodities including rice, wheat, oil crops, cereals, livestock, root vegetables and aquaculture. The region’s agricultural productivity in these and other foods has increased markedly over the last 50 years, thanks to crop science, government policy and the delivery of extension services to smallholders, often with donor assistance. 

There is reason to believe that Asia will make a substantial contribution to both domestic food security and, thanks to its large population, global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has rich natural assets, including major rivers such as the Yangtze, Mekong, Ganges, Brahmaputra and Indus, as well as large lowland areas, which together create fertile alluvial plains and deltas. Its wealthier countries also have significant scientific capacity, including the latest innovations in genome editing.

However, there is no guarantee that Asia’s food system will prosper. Behind the headline statistics, productivity growth is stalling in a number of countries, due to environmental degradation, the limited availability of new arable land and the pressures of climate change. 

In order to understand the systemic concerns regarding Asian food systems, this report focuses on two questions:

  • Which trends are driving innovations in Asia’s food system?

  • What are the challenges and opportunities for policymakers and the private sector in managing these trends?

The answers to these questions will be discussed in more detail in the report. Join us at the session to find out more.