|EMERGING MARKETS REVIEW||Connected Post-Harvest Logistics|
April 6th, 2020
Welcome to my monthly newsletter featuring emerging markets intelligence for forward-thinking executives.
As a courtesy to my reader community in the SMB cold food transport, storage, and tracking technology sectors, information is gathered monthly from news stories, leading opinions, and other sources potentially helpful to US firms considering data-connected post-harvest logistics business opportunities in emerging market countries. Each highlight includes a link to read the article in full.
This newsletter is inspired by my latest research analysis report on Connected Next Generation Post-Harvest Logistics in Emerging Countries.
Thank you for being part of my newsletter reader community.
OPINION: NAVIGATING THE CELLULAR TRANSITION AND ITS IMPACTS ON REAL-TIME TRACKING DEVICES
March 4, 2020 - FreshFruitPortal.com
In this article, FreshFruitPortal.com features a view on how evolving cellular technology can impact the global cargo tracking industry. The article notes that as the technology evolves and mobile operators upgrade their systems, cargo tracking customers, including those in the perishable food cold chain industry, could begin to see scenarios of increased gaps in their data and trip data points for their in-transit cargo. Such possibilities could occur due to cargo tracking devices potentially moving through transport locations with supported and unsupported cellular networks. According to the article, as 2G and 3G services are phased out, so will the need to upgrade to devices that may accommodate Internet of Things (IoT) type connectivity over 4G LTE cellular. Industry customers who upgrade could also benefit from devices that include flexible support for 4G Cat-M (see Cat-M1) and NB-IoT technologies with fall back capability to 2G and 3G networks as needed.
Q&A: COVID-19 PANDEMIC – IMPACT ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
Website Q&A - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
According to FAO, there is an expectation that April and May will bring disruption in the global supply of high-value foods such as fruits and vegetables. One of several challenges is the restriction on the supply chain in moving products from one point to another as a result of country border closures. Another being the likelihood of less food being produced as a result of worker aversion. Consequently, FAO notes, activity in farming is likely to be affected alongside the food processing segment where processors handle a large portion of agricultural products. Additionally, as countries around the world are deploying policy measures to restrict the spread of the disease, activities as tighter controls on cargo vessels may further stress particularly the perishable food supply chain. Restrictions on population movement (ie, seasonal workers) may also affect food production and global market prices. FAO presents on a number of related Q&A points of interest at the following link.
EAST AFRICA FACES DUAL SHOCK FROM CORONAVIRUS AND LOCUST SWARMS
March 23, 2020 - CNBC
CNBC reports that East African economies facing already devastating desert locus infestations must now simultaneously deal with the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic. Words as "unprecedented" and "extremely alarming" have been used by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to describe what is currently happening on the ground with locust infestations for countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. For countries as these, CNBC writes that FAO has warned of current widespread breeding in progress and that a formation of new swarms has begun for an outbreak not seen in 70 years, threatening decimation of crops and food security. For this region, agriculture accounts for a major part of its GDP and employs over 65% of its workforce. The emergence of the coronavirus outbreak is seen as further complicating the trade and production side of the economy with governments implementing restrictions on travel and social gatherings in effort to limit the spread of the disease. CNBC adds that with a reduction in demand by China for African exports alongside its importance to the region's bilateral trade also means difficult days lie ahead.
POLICY & REGULATORY
INTERNET CONNECTIVITY COMES TO RURAL KENYA – BY BALLOON!
March 24, 2020 - Developing Telecoms
According to Developing Telecoms, the Kenyan government has approved a project long in the works for Google sister-company Loon to deploy their Internet balloons in partnership with local operator Telkom Kenya. Started in July 2018, the effort is slated to bring 4G LTE cellular services to remote populations in Kenya that lack adequate mobile Internet services on their handsets. Developing Telecoms reports that the balloons function as floating cell towers positioned in the stratosphere (at approx 20Km, or ~65,616 feet), move with the wind, and last for hundreds of days.
COVID-19 AND THE IMPACT ON FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
March 20, 2020 - Lexology
Lexology reports that in addition to news about the impact of COVID-19 on the daily lives of people and economies around the world, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is seen as another likely scenario to suffer as a result. Citing a March 8 2020 special report (link in article) by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the monitoring of investments around the world and COVID-19's potential impact, the article notes that UNCTAD sees potential downward pressure of -5% to -15% in the short-term and throughout 2020. Developing countries are seen as ones at most risk and where a downward of 16% in FDI is expected. The article also notes that the software and IT services sectors are among those set to grow and benefit from the crisis. Though, overall, Lexology reports the situation remains far from ideal.
UN CHIEF SAYS COVID-19 IS WORST CRISIS SINCE WORLD WAR II
March 31, 2020 - The Associated Press (AP)
According to the AP, the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a stronger global response to the COVID-19 crisis as the world faces the most challenging situation since World War II. Featuring a combination of health and economic risk, Guterres said the disease has potential to cause "enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict." Citing a need for a global financial package to help the developing world - a scenario seen as "we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our connected world" - AP reports that Guterres notes that what has been mobilized so far in terms of funding has been by developed countries to support their own economies. Areas of concern include vast numbers of people of who are refugees, displaced, and poor. A suggestion at the recent G20 summit by several countries was to create an Africa-focused G20 initiative, and one which needs to happen quickly, as not doing so presents potential for enormous challenges across the African continent.
About Sal Yazbeck, Ph.D.
This newsletter is published monthly by Sal Yazbeck. Based on his latest research, Sal offers strategic research, advice, and consulting support to motivated US firms (as IoT device companies, reefer transport operators, and cold food storage operators) with an interest in post-harvest type expansion opportunities in emerging market regions. For more information and contact, please visit our website at www.salyazbeck.com.
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