Agriculture is one of the key GDP drivers in ASEAN, with smallholder farmers contributing to a large portion of the agricultural activity and production in the region. However, these farmers are often poorly integrated into value chains and lack access to formal goods and services, such as financing.
The Digital ASEAN Program looks for innovative startups with groundbreaking solutions to help smallholders across the region unlock new economic opportunities.
In this week’s “Early Stage,” we take a look at some of the agritech startups that took part in this farmer enablement program.
RiseHarvest is working to improve the livelihoods of rice farmers in Myanmar by maximizing crop yields and optimizing their fertilizer application process. Their app incorporates farming information and tips, as well as real-time weather measurements like rainfall and temperature, to provide tailored fertilizer recommendations for rice farmers.
Also in Myanmar, Tun Yat uses its online platform and app to take the country’s farming sector to the next level. Small farms in Myanmar often lack the funds to rent the equipment needed for planting and harvesting. The machines’ owners face competition trying to get work on the limited number of large farms. Tun Yat’s solution connects farmers with vetted farm machine providers. Farmers are able to increase field utilization and crop yields by using modern equipment like harvesters and tractors, and the machinery providers receive income by leasing out their hardware.
Israeli company Saillog is developing an artificial intelligence-based solution that enables farmers to identify and treat plant diseases and pests. Their first solution offering is AgrioShield, which notifies subscribers after crop diseases and pests are detected on nearby farms. These alerts, along with written preventative measures, aid in impeding infestations and reducing yield losses.
“Early Stage” is a series where the writers of KrASIA highlight startups that caught our eye for the week, whether they achieved an important milestone, rolled out a truly innovative product, or became embroiled in controversy.