by: Dr. Nimrod Israely – Founder and CEO – Biofeed Ltd
COVID-19 pandemic crisis, brought us to face challenges humanity never knew.
As a result, we experience many short and long-term changes – work place, daily activities and habits, family behavior, shopping, food consumption, schooling, etc.
Change is often perceived as a threat to our present situation, and even risk for our future existence. At the same time, change can serve as an opportunity for a new beginning and a better future.
In the way I look at the situation, the current bitter condition of most of the world’s farmers allows them to be optimistic if they will focus on the Opportunity aspects of the crisis they can change their conditions for the better!
Why? Because most of the farmers’ current situation couldn’t be much worse.
Now, thanks to the crisis, they have the opportunity to change their future, much better, and faster than ever before.
Nevertheless, to turn a crisis into an opportunity it is important to analyze thoroughly the situation and pinpoint the potential (personal, economic, and business) Risks and Opportunities ahead.
To keep focus I will concentrate on the Agricultural Exports topic, which I believe is the key and critical to the future economic development of agriculture and farmers in emerging economies.
Three medium to long-term risks –
1. Stricter standards and regulations– Biological and chemical security issues and market (buyers) requirements will be an obstacle that many exporters of fresh produce are not yet ready to meet.
2. Public concern – In view of the increasing public (consumers) sensitivity to health, reduction, or halting of imports due to public concern that agricultural produce carries biological or chemical hazards.
3. Food supply strategy –The regulators (Governments) may instruct to increase local food production, as a strategy, and cut down imported produce to prevent future dependency on external supply sources in the event of future epidemic and supply chain obstruction.
Increase the volume and total amount of agricultural exports of high quality and value-added produce from emerging economies to developed markets.
OPPORTUNITIES 1. Short term – Already, during the current COVID-19 crisis, we observe an increase in fresh and frozen produce consumption – creating higher demand for fresh produce on the market – which causes the prices to rise. Continuation of this trend creates an immediate increase in the profitability of the agricultural export sector .
2. Medium and long term–“Blue Ocean Strategy”. The tougher and more stringent are the demands and challenges of entering export markets, the less competition you will meet and the better price for the value you will get. Hence, exporters will see an increase in volume demand along with produce prices increase.
It is evident that the COVID-19 crisis presents a tremendous opportunity for those who manage to face the current difficulties. It is most relevant for those who will act now to be ready and prepared for the future market demands, emphasizing bio/chemo security and quality.
FROM ACTIONS TO RESULTS
Now after we outlined the main Risks, Objectives, and Opportunities for exports, we can define the Problem ahead, required Actions, and expected Results that will bring prosperity.
1. The Problem to overcome: currently, most farmers and countries do not meet the export-related regulatory requirements, and due to the inability to meet export regulatory requirements, they can’t export their produce.
Action: Immediate develop and implement crop protection protocol that will meet any expected future regulations in the field of Bio and Chemo security.
Result: Positioning your country as Leaders who stand up to the highest requirements. You will then have plenty of markets’ options to choose from.
2. The Problem to overcome: Stringent future regulatory requirements will make it harder for all farmers and countries to meet the requirements.
Action: Soothe public concerns about biological or chemical hazards, especially as to fresh produce.
Result: With fewer ‘players’ in the agricultural export market, there will be less competition; hence, we will see a shift from the ‘price’ pitch to the ‘quality and value’ pitch. Do you see the leverage?
3. The Problem to overcome: Inability to trust an import reliable source that will keep high-quality supply under all circumstances. For example, we in Israel import flour for bread. Now the country is worried that there will be a shortage due to logistics delays and competition for supply sources.
Action: Strengthening the supply chain and providing guarantees that even in the event of a closure, the imported produce availability will continue uninterrupted, as if the produce is grown in the country itself.
Result: By promising stability in the supply chain, you establish Trust and Credibility, the driving force of business!
The domains listed above require your immediate urgent action to
overcome the Risks ahead and simultaneously achieve the desired Results.
In previous articles, I discussed the content, substance, and practical steps needed to move from ‘planning’ to ‘action’. A reference toward those directions you will find below in the Personal Note paragraph.
The Ministers of Agriculture in the emerging economies have a unique opportunity to lead a strategic change in the agricultural sector and the economy of their countries.
Such a change will create; more jobs, an increase in welfare, an increase in food production for exports but at the same time also for the domestic market. It will lead to an economic boom.
The opportunities noted and detailed above can only be realized if – together with the farmers – the policymakers, decision-makers, and regulators lead a state-level change movement.
Such a change should be done in cooperation with all parties that can help in achieving the mutual national consents and thereafter, the export targets.
Advanced standardization is required, together with its immediate implementation, which will transform traditional agriculture into sustainable agri-industry.
Farmers alone are not in a position to initiate or lead a change of this magnitude. Their main role is to take part in the process, agree to the change and direction, and to prove that the change is possible and results are achievable.
Opportunities come and go. Those who do not adopt a proactive approach to change, leaders who do not grab this opportunity, will discover in a year or two that the train has passed and they are left far behind.
Passive leaders will set the future of their farmers and the economy into a gloomy future, while enviously watching other countries benefiting from the change.
What is needed is to act now; double the efforts now will create many years of prosperity and set the agri-sector on a path to long-term success.
The approach of prioritizing health and food security guided me too when I established Biofeed 20 years ago. My goal was, and still is, to –
Improve Farmers’ Livelihood By Increasing Production, Free of Bio and Chemo Hazards, Grown In A Safe Environment, So Consumers Can Enjoy Healthier Food.
Biofeed understands that a sustainable Bio/Chem-security solution (i.e. biological and chemical security) must include all three elements of the Bio/Chem-security Full Package – (1) Protocols, (2) Technology, and (3) Management.
By providing these three elements, Biofeed managed to revolutionize the field of fruit growing, those thanks to an effective fruit fly management and control. Myself, and my team, are ready to assist you in your journey toward a successful implementation of required actions and usage of the Bio/Chem-security solution so that you can be amongst the ones who will utilize the agri-business opportunities that the COVID-19 crises create. To learn more visit – bit.ly/FreeDomeOutlook
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