Over just 3 years, Myanmar has introduced ambitious reforms which have put it on track to become a modern economy. But big challenges still lie ahead.
This is not about how to start the Lunar New Year right with proper weight management. Well, not exactly, as this is about thin trade and why thin is not good especially during excessive upswings and downswings of prices for Asia’s main food staple—rice.
The transmission channels of perishables like fruits and vegetables from producers to consumers in developing countries need a revamp to provide benefits to all involved.
Feeding the world is becoming an increasingly complex task. Providing all our daily bread—or rice—requires grappling with intense competition for natural resources, producing more from less land and dealing with changing dietary habits. But meeting food needs is not just about quantity. Quality is also important. Along with daily minimum calorie requirements, people also need vital micronutrients from their meals. High levels of micronutrient deficiencies, a phenomenon we call “hidden hunger” remains pervasive, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
In my childhood years, we considered planthoppers as pets. My brothers would catch, feed and train them for hopping races with other kids. Little did I know that these seemingly harmless insects can become crop destroying pests.
The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are expected to bring a stronger focus on longer-term durability of development gains as opposed to the current approach which sees decision-making targeted at the shorter term. At present, businesses main focus is annual balance sheets; for development organizations it is annual results reporting; and for democracies there's cyclical elections.
Asia’s drive to urbanize is taking an increasing toll on the environment with growing mountains of solid waste as city dwellers consume and discard resources at an ever increasing rate. If “green” cities are to be the answer to these environmental stresses then they will need to develop much more effective programs to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste.
Growing more food with less water is the only solution to feed hungry urban populations and quench thirst for energy in developing Asia. Innovative approaches to managing energy and water can provide solutions.
Area frame sampling – which compiles objective agriculture data using geographic areas and advanced technology – is increasingly being used in Asia to help farmers prepare for climate change and extreme weather.
There is one sector that contributes up to a third of gross domestic product, and is an important source of foreign currency, in many of Asia’s developing countries. It could be deployed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.