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Agrifood supply chains involve multiple stakeholders, materials, and steps. Stakeholders include farmers, processors, distributors, retailers, and consumers from different geographic locations. The materials vary from raw materials such as a vegetable from a single source to processed ones such as precooked meals with multiple sources. The steps include farm production, harvesting, sorting, storing, processing, distributing, retailing, and consumption. Due to these multiple factors, information on products is sometimes lost such as where they were produced, how they were processed, or what they contain. Such losses of information hamper quality control and safety management and may reduce product value.
Because of such complexity in steps and stakeholders, the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions to agrifood supply chains. They include poor handling of crops in production due to the shortage of labor, poor connections in transportation caused by border controls, and food waste at stores due to supplydemand imbalances.
By adopting the IoT in agrifood supply chains, information from farm to fork is now accessible, traceable, and sharable among stakeholders in easier, cheaper, and quicker ways. This information makes supply chains more productive by reducing losses and adding value to products. These benefits have contributed to mitigating supply chain challenges during the pandemic while most countries in the Asia-Pacific are attempting to build crisis-resilient agrifood supply chains.
The APO held a workshop in March 2021 on Empowerment of Small-scale Farmers in Adopting Internet of Things Technologies to share key concepts and the necessary enabling environment for the adoption of the IoT. This workshop will provide further insights on the IoT in the agrifood sector with the emphasis on mitigating disruptions and building crisis-resilient agrifood supply chain systems.
For more details please click on PN.