|EMERGING MARKETS REVIEW||Connected Post-Harvest Logistics|
May 7th, 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.
HOW UGANDAN FARMERS CAN USE EZYAGRIC APP DURING THIS COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
April 20, 2020 - SautiTech
In this article, SautiTech reports on how the EzyAgric mobile app is playing a role at these difficult times to assist Ugandan farmers. The app, a product of Ugandan agritech company Akorion, is noted as aiming to connect farmers to an online one-stop shop resource which includes a community that sells and delivers supplies as seeds and fertilizers. It is also said to provide farmers with free access to advisory services on areas as soil testing and estimating the size of the garden. In such a way, SautiTech notes that EzyAgric is helping farmers by trying to bridge the "logistical, information and service delivery gap." Purchase payments are made using cellular provider-based mobile money service.
BLOCKCHAIN REACHES THE COLOMBIAN AGRICULTURAL SECTOR THROUGH DIMUTO
April 7, 2020 - FreshPlaza
FreshPlaza reports that Singapore-based tech startup, DiMuto, has received significant funding from Colombian VC firm, Latin Leap, to enter the food chain digitization business in Colombia. According to the article, DiMuto's solutions allow for the traceability of fresh produce as it moves from production to consumer. For each individual fruit, this process is applied through activity as product photography, and labeling or application of QR codes, which are then associated together and subsequently uploaded to an online platform. The end goal, according to FreshPlaza is to increase product confidence among players within the production chain.
POST-CORONAVIRUS: TECH-ENABLED MULTI-STOREY WAREHOUSING
April 21, 2020 - FII News
FII News reports that market trends from a Covid-19 environment are pointing to possible changes in retail warehousing location and structure design in India. According to the article, the faster growth in the e-commerce sector can in turn lead to warehousing storage facilities being located closer to where the customer is located. E-commerce is now front and center as Covid-19 has highlighted the significance of online shopping during an ongoing lockdown. And for e-commerce players, fast delivery is a key market requirement. FII News reports that under such scenario, retailers are feeling the pressure to open tech-enabled multi-story warehouses closer to their customers within city limits, as the current model is single-story structures located at city peripheries. However, FII News adds that even prior to the pandemic outbreak, structural reforms in India were already driving growth for sectors like third-party logistics. And the popularity of e-commerce use in smaller cities has further generated a growing need for warehousing in tier-2 cities. India's Budget 2020 is also noted to include announcement of a plan to build a national cold storage chain.
COVID-19 IS EXACERBATING FOOD SHORTAGES IN AFRICA
April 27, 2020 - World Economic Forum (WEF)
In this article, the WEF reports on how the effects current Covid-19-based protectionist measures are playing directly into a looming food security crisis across sub-saharan Africa, including nations globally. Focusing on paddy rice, the WEF notes that the sub-saharan Africa region's strategic reserves inventory is among the lowest relative to its consumption, and that it also relies on imports of around 40% for its consumption. Given that countries like India, Vietnam, and Cambodia have reduced or halted rice exports to ensure their own reserves for the epidemic, scenarios as these contribute to further risk for countries across sub-saharan Africa. The WEF adds that exacerbating the food security damage is the locusts plague facing East Africa which has reportedly decimated crops this year. Already on the continent, imports in Senegal have declined by 30%, and the process of clearing imports in Kenya has jumped from weeks to months. Farmers have also noted their crops rotting in absence of delivery trucks. In Nigeria, the government is trying to stem Covid-19's impact on agriculture with activities as creating ID cards for food truck drivers so that they may move freely. Though, the article adds, drivers and their bosses have said they fear for their safety.
POLICY & REGULATORY
FOR THE US, THERE IS A GLOBAL POWER COMPETITION
April 10, 2020 - The Africa Report
In this article, The Africa Report presents on a conversation with US Assistant Secretary of State, Tibor Nagy, as it relates to the competitive situation on the African continent and what the US is doing to get US companies engaged in the region. According to the article, Mr. Nagy's highlights include recommendations to the African leadership on creating a welcoming environment for US businesses, what can be done domestically to get US small and medium-sized businesses active in Africa, and some detail on a US initiative, called Prosper Africa, to help in this effort. For Prosper Africa, the initiative reportedly aims to create a government single point-of-contact that a US business would reach out to. This contact point would in turn bring together various US government agencies that have relations to Africa to help in the effort.
COVID-19 IS BAD NEWS FOR FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT, BUT THERE MAY BE A SILVER LINING
April 20, 2020 - LSE Business Review
In this blogpost on the London School of Economics and Political Science website, authors Cristián Rodríguez-Chiffelle of InvestChile and Peter Vanham of the World Economic Forum write about the current foreign investment dynamics that international companies and countries are facing. In the article, the authors write about (during- and post-Covid-19) investment challenges where currently all investors are said to be operating in unchartered territory along with no guidance and with little insight on how investment flows will emerge once the health crisis eases. They feature a few scenarios on what is likely, and some what-ifs should investors show strong interest when economies reopen. One highlight being, countries opening up their markets to early investors may face short-term risk to foreign speculators gaining influence over certain economic sectors. Another being protectionism, where, by the end of the first quarter 2020, many governments had introduced restrictions on exports. And that not introducing temporary investment restrictions is said to potentially lead to activity as predatory behavior. The authors add that the coming months will tell of what may emerge as the foreign investment picture for the long-term.
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.