July 12, 2017

13/07/2017: Asia’s food future: A fresh perspective grain industry’s drive for innovations

by Raghavan 'Ragha' Sampathkumar

Innovation is the prerequisite for any industry to survive and grow in the long run and grain industry isn’t different
 
Raghavan
Sampathkumar

Particularly, the global grain industry does not have the comfort to be oblivious of the future challenges unless it is willing to explore all avenues. Sectors that once seemed too different and disconnected are increasingly becoming integrated and interdependent.

Who would have imagined how interdependent are agriculture and informational technology and aeronautics? Today, these sectors are paving way for a new and efficient agricultural industry globally.

Similarly, one of such examples I have come across recently made me think how related are human medicine and agriculture as explained towards the end of this column. Since a few months, the global trading alliances are getting reviewed as China is pushing for its Belt and Road Initiative with its neighbours.
 


There are talks about a few hundred billion dollars worth of economic benefit from the initiative with China as its centre both as a prominent supplier and consumer. Though the initiative remains to be seen for its reception by the big economies including India, Southeast Asia has warmed up to the idea.

It is no surprise that many ASEAN economies have historically been closely linked with China for their trade and for many China remains one of the largest trade partners. This would mean, in the coming years the trade agreements and comprehensive economic partnerships are likely to materialise.

However, two of the prominent countries – India and Singapore – are still considering their roles in the initiative. More details and insights will be shared in this column in the coming months as the initiative evolves.

China has been in the news for yet another reason as a Chinese firm has pioneered the innovation that was mentioned at the beginning of the column. The grain industry particularly rice sector has been under severe stress in the recent years due to a supply glut in Thailand in the recent past.

Although rice consumption in Asia is facing a downward trend due to economic growth in the region, the humble grain contributes more than two-thirds of calories for nearly two billion people.

But the sector is at the cross roads desperate for innovations that would open up new options for increasing its utilisation and stabilise prices in the long run.


Read the full article, HERE.
 

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.


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