WASHINGTON, USA – Latin America and the Caribbean, one of the world’s most important sources of agricultural products, can be key in alleviating global food shortages if it improves efficiency by leveraging digital solutions, a new IDB Invest report compiled with Accenture shows.
The report “Digital Transformation of Agribusiness in Latin America and the Caribbean” includes a survey of 40 agribusiness companies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru. It finds that digitalization can help improve productivity, reduce costs, enhance decision-making processes based on data, and better manage supply chain risks. Additionally, digital tools can help farmers increase yields and improve food safety.
According to the report, Latin American and the Caribbean is still in its early stages of digital transformation, with most organizations closer to a lower level, between those with no digital transformation agenda in sight, and those that recognize its importance and already have a running start.
The agribusiness sector is facing pressures, including climate change, price volatility and market demand fluctuations that need to be addressed to remain competitive globally. Improved productivity is needed to cope with the growing world population, as well as sustainability requirements that relate to how goods are produced, such as food safety, health, environmental protection, and fair working conditions.
The agricultural industry is undergoing a major transformation that has been dubbed “Agriculture 4.0”. The term is used to encompass the shift from traditional farming practices to leveraging digital solutions such as automation, remote sensing, precision agriculture, Big Data analytics, and artificial intelligence.
The report states that, to succeed in the digital age, agribusinesses must embrace change and invest in innovative technologies to stay ahead of the curve and compete in an increasingly globalized marketplace. For instance, a 10 percent increase in the Digital Ecosystem Development Index represents a 1.4 percent increase in GDP, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The new report was presented today in a webinar, with discussion focused on how to help agribusinesses reach new levels of innovation and productivity through digitalization. An online course designed by IDB Invest to learn best practices in digital transformation for agribusinesses was also unveiled.
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