Archived Webinar

Digital Ag Series - Creating a Center of Excellence for Smallholder Farmers to Scale Up Digital Agriculture Innovations in East Asia & Pacific Region

"A unique multi-stakeholder platform that advances the technology, skills, and knowledge fundamental to improving smallholder productivity & profitability."

There are approximately 500 million smallholder farmers working on farms often less than 2 hectares in size around the world. And many more depend on smallholders who play an increasing role in supplying and feeding a growing population while being at high risk of poverty and malnutrition. These farmers (often women) are constrained by multiple challenges with access to markets, limited access to supporting infrastructure, access to capital, insurance, and other risk-reducing tools. There is also a deficit in farm management knowledge. These smallholder farmers have the potential to be the driving force behind rural development, which is equitable, sustainable, and productive.

To this end, Bayer, and its partners in Singapore, seek to drive an initiative that will see the establishment of a Centre Excellence (CoE) for the Smallholder Farming community of Asian countries with a vision to strengthen food system resilience and improve smallholder livelihoods. The mission of this CoE is to establish a unique multi-stakeholder platform that advances the technology, skills, and knowledge fundamental to improving smallholder productivity & profitability.

The multi-stakeholder nature of the CoE allows a “whole of system approach” to ecosystem change and will cover the entire value chain. There are three key pillars of CoE, viz, Technology Transfer, Skill Enhancement, and Knowledge and Community Building. These three focus areas of the CoE are the impact multipliers for agriculture and sustained efforts will unlock potential, enabling food system resilience in the region.

About the Presenters

Prasad Gopalan

IFC Global Sector Manager for Agribusiness and Forestry

Prasad Gopalan is the Global Sector Manager for Agribusiness and Forestry in IFC. He has been with IFC for more than 20 years and is currently based in Washington D.C. Prasad has worked on client engagements across various sectors and over the past 20 years has focused on the Agribusiness and Forestry sectors.  Prior to IFC, Prasad worked as a process engineer/infrastructure consultant in the U.S. and Europe. He has graduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering as well as a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Mun Pew Khong

Bayer Head of Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability, Asia Pacific 

Mr. Mun Pew Khong is currently the Head of Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability, Asia Pacific in Bayer.  He joined Bayer in 2014.  Before joining Bayer, Mun Pew worked in Syngenta as Head of Corporate Affairs, ASEAN overseeing government affairs, stakeholder engagement, and corporate communications. He also spent 10 years with British American Tobacco as Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs based in various locations including Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Prior to his joining the corporate sector, Mun Pew was with the Singapore Civil Service for 15 years serving in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Trade Development Board with his last position as the Director of Trade Policy, ASEAN.  He was also the Commercial Counsellor at the Singapore Embassy in Indonesia from 1996 to 2000. Mun Pew graduated with a master’s degree in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Professor Arif Satria

 Rector of IPB University, Indonesia

Professor Arif Satria is the Rector of Institute Pertanian Bogor (IPB), or IPB University, Indonesia. He has been Dean of the Faculty of Human Ecology IPB since 2010, having previously been a lecturer in the Department of Social Economics for Fisheries. He is currently the Chairman of the Indonesian Forum of Rectors for the year 2020. He was also an adviser to the Indonesian Minister of Marine and Fisheries in 2012. Dr. Arif has been actively involved in the development of marine and fisheries policies since 2002, including the preparation of the Blue Economic Concept, as well as a number of Government and Ministerial Regulations. He served as a visiting fellow at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He received his Bachelor's degree in Social Economics from the Faculty of Agriculture (IPB), then continued his Master's degree in Rural Sociology from IPB and earned his Doctorate in Marine Policy from the University of Kagoshima, Japan.

Animesh Shrivastava

World Bank Lead Agriculture Economist for the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Region

Animesh Shrivastava is Lead Agriculture Economist for the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Region of the World Bank Group. Prior to joining EAP, he was Program Leader for Central Asia countries, covering Agriculture, Water, Macro, Trade, Finance and Competitiveness themes. Animesh is a member of the Agriculture Global Practice of the World Bank and has wide experience of rural sector issues including agriculture strategy and policies, agribusiness and market development, trade and competitiveness, integrated water and natural resources management, rural livelihoods development and food and nutrition security issues. Animesh holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oxford.

Wei-Li Woo

Lead - Innovation, Grow Asia

Wei-Li Woo is the Lead - Innovation at Grow Asia, a multi-stakeholder partnership platform that catalyzes action for inclusive agricultural development in Southeast Asia. The platform convenes governments, farmers, NGOs, and other stakeholders to co-create value chain initiatives focused on smallholder farmers and the environmental sustainability of agriculture. Grow Asia was established by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat. Wei-Li manages Grow Asia's Digital Program, which brings together business, government, and NGO leaders who share a commitment to using digital innovations to make smallholder value chains more productive and sustainable.​Wei-Li holds a Master of Arts in Development Studies, focused on Agrarian Food and Environmental Studies from Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University.

Suresh Sundararajan

Managing Director & Group Head, Global Corporate Services, OLAM 

Suresh Sundararajan is the Managing Director & Group Head, Global Corporate Services of OLAM. Suresh joined Olam in 1996 as a Finance Manager in Cameroon and was transferred to Singapore in 1998 to head the Corporate Affairs function overseeing Financial Accounting, Tax, Secretarial, Audit as well as equity capital raising activities of the Group. In late 2008, Suresh moved on to oversee Business and Corporate Finance and lead the newly created Global Business Services function responsible for end-to-end business processes and analytics. In 2016, Suresh assumed the lead role for Corporate Functions that include Digital, Tax, Legal, IT, Global Business Services, and Strategic Investments. Currently, he oversees Risk, Market Compliance, IT, IT Security, Global Business Services, Digital and Legal functions with additional responsibility to incubate and run three new business ventures for Olam. Suresh holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Madras, India, a degree in Cost Accountancy in 1990 from The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India, and is a qualified Company Secretary with The Institute of Company Secretaries of India. Suresh is also a member of Olam’s Executive Committee.

Questions Submitted


- Jan 18, 2022

Mahaman Mourtala

- Nov 2, 2021


- Sep 16, 2021

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- Aug 20, 2021


- Aug 15, 2021

Jes�s Manuel

- Aug 11, 2021
Great Conversation


- Aug 8, 2021

Jared Troy

- Jul 30, 2021
Interesting perspectives. Thank you.


- Jul 27, 2021

jose luis

- Jul 24, 2021
que bien
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