Agriculture has been one of the core pillars of human existence and development over the millennia and, while it continues to serve that crucial role today, the industry faces bigger challenges by the day.
The risks driven by climate change and, more recently, the effects of COVID-19, have contributed to declining produce outputs and farmers are struggling to make sites both sustainable and profitable. In agriculture-dependent regions like Southeast Asia, the contribution of the agriculture sector has been steadily declining from 2003 towards 2016, as shown in recently released World Bank data.
The ripple effect of this decline is wide. In South Asian countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, jobs in agriculture make up nearly half of the total employment and account for 39% total employment across Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar, among others.