The Asia Food Challenge: Harvesting the Future

In conjunction with this year’s Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Week in Singapore, PwC, Rabobank, and Temasek recently released ‘The Asia Food Challenge: Harvesting the Future’. This report addresses Asia’s food and agricultural landscape over the next decade, which is now at a crossroads: huge growth in demand creates an attractive opportunity for investment, but collective action is required to unlock this opportunity.

Report summary

Asia is at a crossroads: On the one hand, a large and growing population, coupled with rising incomes, a burgeoning middle class, and urbanization, will continue to drive Asia’s demand for agricultural commodities, products, and resources, while seeking more value and quality food. On the other hand, Asia cannot produce enough to support itself. By 2030, with only one quarter of the world’s agricultural land, the region will be home to more than half of the global population. And these challenges are compounded by climate change, which will have the biggest impact on Asia.

A fundamental change is required across the entire food supply chain in Asia to enable and sustain the region’s food security. Besides trade, Asia needs greater collaboration and shared responsibility between the public and private sectors to feed itself while preserving the planet for future generations. This involves stronger backing from governments in terms of policies and legislations that support new technologies and innovations, as well as the formation of corporate venture capital teams and incubators. There are opportunities in shifting into a more sustainable model that can tackle waste and supply chain inefficiency, produce higher yields, create platforms to connect, and introduce new products and processes. Innovating for sustainability can also bring about value creation through stronger focus on promising, high-impact innovations.

This report estimates that cumulative investment of USD 800bn above existing levels over the next ten years will be needed to grow Asia’s food and agriculture industry to a sustainable size, in order for Asia to feed itself. A majority of these investments – around USD 550bn – will enable key requirements around sustainability, climate change mitigation, food safety, health, and convenience. The remaining USD 250bn will drive increased quantities of food to feed Asia’s growing population.

Download the report

The report and other materials can be accessed at (external website)

  • Ping Chew

    Head of RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness - Asia
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  • Sandy Chen

    Senior Analyst - Dairy
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  • Chenjun Pan

    Senior Analyst - Animal Protein
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  • Lief Chiang

    Analyst - Grains & Oilseeds
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  • Jingyan Sun

    Analyst - Farm Inputs
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  • Stacie Wan

    Analyst – Supply Chains and Beverages
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  • Michelle Huang

    Analyst – Consumer Foods
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