Video Blog

VIDEO BLOG: High-tech, niche ideas for agribusiness

The promise of high-tech is already widely appreciated in the fields of finance and E-commerce. However, there is also a quiet revolution going on in rural and developing areas where new technologies and practices are being applied to old problems of increasing farm productivity.

The Asian Development Bank and the ADB Institute have identified a number of promising paths for agribusinesses to move into organic and niche products; promote farmer cooperatives, contract farming, and seed industries; and implement certified international food and safety standards. All these practices can help farmers in developing countries integrate faster into lucrative food value production chains underpinning global agronomy.

A recent study by ADBI Dean Naoyuki Yoshino and professors Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary and Ehsan Rasoulinezhad convincingly demonstrates the link between rising food prices and overreliance on fossil fuels in many Asian economies. They recommend more energy diversification in agriculture using new energy technologies and renewable and nonrenewable resources.

Cheap drones can transform agriculture in the developing world, from making farming easier and more profitable by cutting costs for crop dusting and surveying, to making short-hop deliveries direct from field to market.

Real-time, publicly available data streams from satellites are helping farmers anticipate weather and boost crop yields, among many other exciting applications.

Governments in developing countries that promote agricultural trade in these ways will enjoy the trifecta wins of reducing poverty, improving nutrition for their people, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

A new animated video—the summer episode from ADBI’s 101 Smarter Ideas series—showcases these practical solutions in compelling ways that can lift farmers in developing countries out of poverty through more innovative and modern agricultural practices.


ADB. 2018. High-value Crop Boosts Farmers’ Income in Lao PDR, News and Events video (3.5 mins)
ADB. 2018. ADB Grant Promotes Sustainable, Climate-Smart Agribusiness in Lao PDR, News and Events release from Country Offices, 31 July 2018
ADB and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. 2018, Embracing the E-Commerce Revolution in Asia and the Pacific, Manila: Asian Development Bank.
Dillon, A. and L.N. Rao. 2018. Land Measurement Bias: Comparisons from Global Positioning System, Self-Reports, and Satellite Data. Manila: Asian Development Bank.
Hasnie, S. and R. Sungsup. How the gig economy can transform farms in the developing world. Asian Development Blog, 2 April 2018.
Martin, W. 2017. Agricultural Trade and Food Security. ADBI Working Paper 664. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute.
Stillman, G.B., and A.D. Rillo (eds. with A. Majoe). 2015. Boosting Agriculture in the Lower Mekong. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute.
Taghizadeh-Hesary, F., E. Rasoulinezhad, and N. Yoshino. 2018. Volatility linkages between energy and food prices, Asia Pathways blog, 5 June 2018.
Taghizadeh-Hesary, F., E. Rasoulinezhad, and N. Yoshino. 2018. Volatility Linkages between Energy and Food Prices: Case of Selected Asian Countries. ADBI Working Paper 829. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute.
Taghizadeh-Hesary F., N. Yoshino, G. Abdoli, and A. Farzinvash. 2013. An Estimation of the Impact of Oil Shocks on Crude Oil Exporting Economies and their Trade Partners. Frontiers of Economics in China 8(4): 571–591.

Grant B. Stillman

About the Author

Grant Stillman is Legal Advisor, Asian Development Bank Institute.

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