MANILA, PHILIPPINES — On September 13 at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati, industry leaders and professionals gathered to attend Makati Business Club’s forum on Smart Agri: Driving Farm Productivity through Data and Technology, co-presented by True Digital, a topic that aims to lend support to the local agricultural sector.
The discussion was opened by Ayala Corporation Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala, who talked about the need to properly harness technology, produce nutritious food, and limit wastage.
The keynote speech was given by True Digital Chief Business Officer and Chief International Officer Marco Guida, who discussed ways in creating a more sustainable environment for farmers and fisherfolk through digital transformation. He emphasized the importance of acquiring the hardware, employing professionals with the knowledge to operate and interpret the analytics, and receiving the financial support of a senior stakeholder.
Guest panelists included Department of Agriculture Information and Communications Technology Service Director Dennis Franco M. Layug, and Cropin Chief Marketing Officer Sujit Janardanan, who shared their perspectives on the challenges of moving from traditional practices into new ways of doing things.
Key takeaways from the day’s discussion include employing the tools and professionals to accelerate growth in the Philippine agricultural industry, merging traditional and next-gen techniques, strengthening the partnership between the private sector and the Department of Agriculture, and having the resolve to enact change by taking the first step and making something happen.
Marco’s advice is to “Launch fast, fail fast, move fast, iterate.” He further explained, “There needs to be a certain level of talk-talk-push because the people [who] implement the solution must not be afraid to fail. If not, the fear will paralyze [the user] and they will go back to what they know and the solution will not be implemented.”
He continued, “Have a senior stakeholder who will say, ‘It is okay, you can try. If you succeed, great! If you don’t, we’ll learn and do something else.”