|EMERGING MARKETS REVIEW||Connected Post-Harvest Logistics|
July 10th, 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.
ENERGY STORAGE TECH CAN EASE AFRICA’S POWER BLACKOUT PAIN
June 23, 2020 - Business Daily
According to the Business Daily, the design of electricity networks in Africa is experienced through daily congestion challenges where the system is unable to carry enough energy, or excess energy, to meet consumer demand. In a search to increase system reliability by addressing congestion which causes blackouts, the article notes that looking to renewable energy alone may not provide the needed solution. For instance, integrating solar and wind can have their challenges as the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow - which then also have the potential to cause periods of blackouts. This is where technologies offering energy storage capability are seen as key in providing buffer energy to fill the gap between supply and excess demand, and thereby offering a path towards a stable energy infrastructure across the African continent.
THAI MINISTRY PARTNERS WITH GRAB TO LAUNCH ONLINE FARMERS’ MARKET
June 4, 2020 - Fresh Plaza
Fresh Plaza reports that the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) and delivery provider company Grab have partnered to sell farm products online in effort to increase domestic fruit consumption. Given the challenging pandemic effects on export markets, the idea is to allow farmers to sell domestically direct to consumers via a mobile app. As a result, several cooperatives are now offering their fresh products through the Grab Mart service and which are sold through markets within the Bangkok area for delivery. The article notes that MOAC is also working with Alibaba to help Thai farmers sell to the global marketplace.
POLICY & REGULATORY
IT IS TIME FOR IN-DEPTH POLICY ON DIGITAL TRADE
June 15, 2020 - Business Daily
According to the Business Daily, e-commerce in Kenya is growing rapidly during this pandemic despite gaps in relevant regulatory and policy measures. The article highlights three common approaches to purchasing commodity products remotely, these being: third-party trading platforms enabling e-marketplace web services for sellers, independent businesses using applications to sell their products, and courier services which are engaged by online buyers through mobile money payments to deliver online purchased goods. Courier services, as the Business Daily reports, have increased 44 percent by number over last ten years, and in 2019 moved more parcels in a single quarter than in a year 10 years ago. However, while a series of positive steps are said to have been taken to bolster e-commerce growth over time (as investments in ICT infrastructure and initiatives in legal framework reforms), a digital divide remains. The article adds that virtual companies should follow a similar compliance framework as their brick and mortar counterparts and particularly when it comes to the storage and transportation of food, and reports on a series of steps in this regard.
IOT INVESTMENTS TO TRIPLE TO $15BN BY 2021
June 19, 2020 - FII News
According to FII News, new findings by consulting firm Zinnov reveal that IoT growth estimates in India should grow from 200+ million devices in 2019 to around 2 billion devices by 2021. A large part of this growth is reported to be in three key sectors, with hardware and software leading the way at around 60-70%, and the rest spent on services. Driven by demand from a variety of industry segments, the article reports that India is host to over 1,200 large Enterprises and over 75 million Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). With many use cases highlighted, FII News also notes the findings reveal many global IoT programs as being operated from India, and enabled by factors as a rich IT talent pool, a dynamic start-up ecosystem, and government investments in digital infrastructure.
NEW US FOREIGN INVESTMENT AGENCY COUNTERS CHINA BELT AND ROAD 'COLONIALISM'
June 14, 2020 - Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner reports that the newly formed US International Development Finance Corporation (IDF) approved more than $1 billion in investment projects in early June slated for regions in Latin America, Africa, and India. The IDF, developed through the 2018 congressional Build Act, brought together OPIC and a USAID credit program to provide seed money for US and Western businesses to invest overseas in effort to help counter what is seen as China's growing Belt and Road influence. According to the article, with a focus on foreign policy matters, a major goal of IDF initiatives is to invest in regions exhibiting free, open, and transparent markets.
ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
June 9, 2020 - Proshare
Proshare reports in this article on an IMF report regarding climate change as being a "threat multiplier for pandemics." Through a combination of factors, climate change is said to adversely affect areas as agriculture by reducing production yields and arable lands, as well as trade and tourism through reduced investments and environmental damage. The results of which, the article notes, can lead to societal issues as mass migration, conflict, and poor nutrition which can affect the health of populations in fighting off pandemics. Such effects, according to Proshare, are more pronounced in areas as the Sahel in Sub-Saharan Africa where the region relies on rain for agriculture, while also is experiencing high average temperatures, and is less resilient than other regions in Sub-Saharan Africa. In terms of support during natural disasters, foreign financial assistance often help economically in the near- and medium-terms, though, the article highlights that human capital loss from malnutrition and death cannot be recovered. Proshare provides a link to the referenced IMF report.
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.