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Agricultural technology booms amid COVID-19 outbreak

This year, the bushfires in Australia, the volcanic eruption in the Philippines, the locust plagues in Africa, the global coronavirus pandemic, the floods that swallowed many regions in southern China, in addition to other natural and man-made disasters have caused communities everywhere to feel a sense of unprecedented doom and despair.

As the coronavirus has been ravaging the world, it has also disrupted the global food supply chain and paralyzed economies, both of which have affected the delivery of agricultural products to markets and consumers — both within and across borders.

For the first time in recent memory, we have been reminded that in order to ensure food is available in nearby supermarkets and restaurants, we must also guarantee the unimpeded functioning of all components of the agricultural supply chain, including farms, trucks, processing centers, warehouses, cold storage centers, and transportation routes.

Bloomberg reported that by the end of 2020, there will be 132 million more hungry people than previously estimated, a spike that will likely represent more than three times any increase so far in the twenty-first century. Some predictions indicate that by the end of this year, COVID-19 will cause more people to die of hunger than from the disease itself.

Stuart Oda, CEO of Alesca Life, a Beijing-based agricultural tech company, said that agriculture and agricultural technology have come into sharp focus from the fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak. “Whenever there’s a recession or a global health and food crisis, agricultural technology booms and the interest from governments, investors, and the general population increases,” Oda said.

Read more at pandaily.


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