The future of Bangladesh agriculture is promising as the country needs to improve its productivity significantly to feed the large and consistently increasing population, says Sazzadul Hassan, Managing Director of Syngenta Bangladesh in an interview with Future Startup. “And for that to happen we need best in class technologies.”
“We will see an increasing use of technology in the agriculture sector that will transform the industry in many ways,” he adds.
“Agriculture is the largest employment sector in Bangladesh. As of 2016, it employs 47% of the total labour force and comprises 16% of the country's GDP. The performance of this sector has an overwhelming impact on major macroeconomic objectives like employment generation, poverty alleviation, human resources development and food security.”
Agriculture is a sector in transition. There is a growing pressure for the productivity growth as well as there is a rapid shift in how agriculture works as a sector in terms of high yield crops to increasing technological interventions.
All these changes and challenges offer immense opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs to forge new ways and build meaningful companies at the intersection of growing tech dominance and agriculture.
We asked Mr. Hassan for his take on the future of the sector, challenges and major trends and here is his take distilled into a short post form his long-form interview published last month. Enter Md. Sazzadul Hassan below. (You may read the entire interview of Mr. Hassan here)
We will see more mechanization happening in the sector, more reliance on technology in almost every aspect of agriculture.
Apart from that, a few other major trends that I see are: farmers will look for high-quality seeds that will give better yields, superior crop protection products, and better agronomical practices.
The labor shortage is driving herbicide growth all across the country. Farmers are increasingly looking for high-quality seeds.
The future of the sector is promising as the country has a daunting task to feed its growing population. To ensure food security for a huge population, productivity would be the name of the game and for that, there is no alternative to world-class technology.
Innovation is going to be the key to deal with multiple challenges that the world is facing today such as produce more agricultural outputs from the less of land, climatic change, pest pressure and pest shift, and resistance management of the chemicals.
Many of these challenges can’t be solved with existing solutions and require innovative approaches. Being one of the most important sectors, agriculture requires more innovations today than ever before. That’s one of looking at it.
The other way is that we have been seeing a lot of groundbreaking works are happening in this space, new approach of doing things to the new variety of seeds and other products. However, there is no denying that we need more.
As I mentioned earlier, challenges are around volatile commodity price that leads to low income for the farmers, adulteration and counterfeits products in the market, decreasing arable land that would put pressure on productivity and the shortage of water for irrigation.
Challenges are opportunities in disguise. In order to ensure food for a growing population, the need for quality agro-input is increasing. At the same time, regulators and other key stakeholders are asking for environment-friendly technology. These open up new avenues for growth for the companies like Syngenta.
Crop protection industry has a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 8%-10%. There are some shifts being noticed in the usage of crop protection products. In the northern part of the country, farmers are opting for quality fungicide.