Climate Smart Agriculture
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa asked Verbos Business Development to carry out a scoping study on Climate Smart Agriculture in the Netherlands and South Africa. The study was completed in November 2017. The study has identified a number of gaps in the current South African farming systems and linked these with Dutch solutions.
New technology in the evolving agribusiness value chain
The study examined how new technology will drive value in the evolving agribusiness value chain in South Africa as far as the topic Climate Smart Agriculture and its relation to Dutch technology is concerned. It sought to address different areas of value creation:
operational excellence, supply chain orchestration, and transparency; and further showed how future technology developments will contribute to these sources of value and how they will transform the structure of the agribusiness value chain.
In particular, the study shows how Dutch advancements in system design solutions, and orchestration technologies can facilitate intelligent food production and how they will enable the development of new business models for emerging farmers. As a result, food systems will be more productive, efficient, sustainable, inclusive, transparent, and resilient.
The use of (new) climate smart technology and skills development offered by the Dutch private sector is necessary to move the world’s agriculture to a more productive and sustainable path. Over the next few decades, a rising global population will put great pressure on food systems. While the overall demand for food is expected to be met over this timeframe, it is unclear whether it can be met in a sustainable manner. Agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, a significant consumer of freshwater resources, and it uses a significant part of the land area.
At the same time agribusiness is a major employer in developing countries, and yet the proportion of farmers is declining, leading to the potential for social disruption. Technological innovation is one lever that can address some of the environmental, social, and economic challenges and opportunities in the growing food.