Unlocking Indonesian agriculture’s digital future
Imagine a farm that “talks” directly to its farmer by mobile phone – sending instant updates about soil nutrients and crop cycles, and urgent alerts to top up water or fertilizer. Futuristic? Fantastical? The technology already exists today, and will be a critical lever for igniting growth in Indonesia’s agriculture sector.
With its wealth of fertile land, Indonesia is a major agricultural player – the fourth largest global producer and an important exporter. Farming is a critical part of Indonesia’s economy, contributing significantly to gross domestic product (GDP) and employing almost a third of the country’s workforce. But these numbers are dropping, with fewer young people interested in entering the field.
This can contribute to a higher reliance on imports and lower incomes for farmers, who are largely smallholders. Farmers’ chief concerns are access to capital, pest and disease management, and market access. The cost of production of staple crops is also 25-50 percent higher in Indonesia than in neighboring countries, according to ACRE, McKinsey’s agricultural advanced-analytics center.
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