Current Agribusiness Challenges - Prepare for the Unexpected
From manufacturing milk and cheese to housing livestock and transporting cakes across the country, agribusiness is a vast, interconnected web of industries working towards one goal: The distribution of food.
However, there are unique challenges to the agribusiness model. Many of these issues are native to the industry, but there is also a plethora of current issues in agriculture that are specific to 2022. War, pandemics, and climate change are all new developments shaking these time-tested supply chains.
Learning about current agriculture issues today can prepare manufacturers and distributors to face challenges with grit and grace.
Current Issues in Agriculture in 2022
Some agribusiness issues are expected, such as market forces, customer taste, and global competition. Industry leaders from the production stage to distribution are well aware of how demand shifts or competition grows. However, it is always important to stay up-to-date on research and data developments about how market forces morph.
Take a look at changes in tried-and-true methods, plus some new advancements in the state of the world. After discovering current issues in agriculture in 2022, one can begin to build better practices to combat these challenges.
1. Post-Pandemic Market Forces
Market forces like consumer taste can alter the number of products manufactured and the prices of items. If a trend favoring a fruit-heavy diet forms, then perhaps vegetable demand may fall and the price will drop. Meanwhile, fruit prices will soar as the demand increases.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, food production and distribution slowed. Workers were restricted to their homes for safety, demand fluctuated and various facilities closed, and governments across the globe restricted food trade to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Now, in the post-pandemic world, distributors are dealing with a trucking labor shortage and a return of trade and demand. To aid this transition, agribusinesses should take extra measures to revamp working conditions for health and safety. They should also collaborate with their respective governments to ensure that policies are not hindering the distribution of food to hungry families at fair prices.
2. A Growing Population
A globalized and integrated world means more people are in comfortable and healthy conditions to raise their children. This means that, across the board, the global population is climbing. More people means more hungry bellies.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) predicts that food output will need to increase by 70% by 2050. Their data suggest that, by this time, there will be 10 billion people on Earth.
To meet this burgeoning demand and the steadily approaching date, agribusinesses should consider how to foster growth in areas that need more food distribution. By uncovering regions where poverty and food insecurity is pronounced, these businesses can invest in rural infrastructures like roads and irrigation systems to build a stable presence there and meet a significant demand for food products. Investing in people in need means investing in a new market with significant demand.
3. Climate Change and Natural Disasters
In the past years, the world saw record droughts in China and Europe, Hurricane Ian in the southern United States, flooding in India and Pakistan, and freezing frosts in Brazil. These increasingly frequent and catastrophic natural disasters will be a factor for agribusinesses that may lose crops or halt transportation.
Climate change is also a factor and often a cause of natural disasters like this. To directly combat the detrimental effects of climate change, agribusinesses should invest in efficient irrigation management and greener energy. With this innovation, farmers conserve water and save energy by using methods such as dry farming and drip irrigation.
Furthermore, distribution companies can invest in electric vehicles or manufacturers exploring renewable solar energy to power processing plants.
Agribusiness insurance can also cover a fleet of businesses through all levels to protect against natural disasters, injuries, property damage, and vehicle setbacks. It can cover everything from grain stores and milling elevators to pesticide production machinery. By investing in agribusiness insurance, these businesses ensure a safe and protected future for their property, goods, and people.
4. War and Political Unrest
Another one of the top agriculture issues today is the war in Ukraine. Western sanctions on Russia are blocking off the world’s largest supplier of fertilizer from reaching farmsteads across the globe.
Grain and wheat production and exports were also climbing in Ukraine and Russia before the war, so experts predict a tight grains market with higher prices than ever.
Businesses should stay aware of fluctuations in the grain market and search for more stable alternatives.
Stay Aware and Prepared
The current issues in agriculture in 2022 cover a variety of natural and political influences. As the world becomes ever more interconnected, so do the forces that can alter production.
However, agriculture also can diminish food insecurity and increase efficiency with proper preparation and new technology that can yield larger harvests or maintain freshness for longer.
There are many agricultural issues today to address, but there are also proactive steps to take in preparation for any challenges that may arise.
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