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Entrepreneurial Drivers of AgTech in the Philippines

Published on June 24, 2019

Modern agriculture has evolved from farmers operating simple mechanized tractors to using high-tech drone imagery of fields or digital farm information systems navigated by a mobile app. Drones and agriculture-smart mobile apps are just some of the AgTech innovations with the potential to disrupt and restructure the global agri-food industry and increase productivity and sustainability across the sector’s value chain. This study explores interconnections among different types of enterprise groups and sub-groups that constitute the Philippine AgTech sector. Although the global growth trajectory of AgTech has been impressive, developing economies like the Philippines lag behind the rest. 

Highlights
1
Develop targeted skills training as policies relating to skills training are an important measure particularly for nascent and startup enterprises
2
Explore new lending tech as low financial inclusion remains a major problem plaguing SMEs in developing countries
3
Develop an information hub designed to aggregate information related to AgTech SMEs

There are a myriad challenges facing the agri-food industry. On the demand side, population growth and changing food preferences hinder the industry’s ability to feed everyone. On the supply side, the depletion of natural resources and mounting environmental stressors threaten the long-term viability and sustainability of food production systems. Employing innovative technologies and smarter resource use is key to ensuring food security, environmental sustainability and a better economic outlook for developing economies.

Although growth projections in AgTech have been impressive at the global aggregate level, cross-country and even intra-regional variations persist. Based on the AgFunder report, top investment gains are mostly in developed economies. Within Southeast Asia, there is a disparity in the influx of capital: only a few member countries such as Singapore and Indonesia receive notable support. Philippines in particular, lags behind its Asian counterparts in terms of investment expansion. There are major constraints and challenges faced by the AgTech sector in the country. Left unexamined and unaddressed, these roadblocks will hinder the sector’s growth and development. An exploration of AgTech enterprises can help us understand the underlying factors and constraints.

The entrepreneurial development of any business venture is an intricate mesh of conditions internal to the firm and entrepreneur as well as varying external conditions.

Jurise Oliveros