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Asian business leaders overwhelmingly agree that there is cause for alarm around Asia’s food security, according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The study, Fixing Asia’s Food Systems, found that population growth, urbanisation and changing food demands are already pressuring Asia’s food systems and will threaten food security if not addressed.

The five-part research program commissioned by Cargill outlines six key megatrends: urbanisation, the double burden of under-nutrition and obesity, technology constraints, the need for transparency and sustainability, and politics.

The research was based on a survey of 820 industry leaders in the region, along with desk research and expert interviews and showed ninety percent of business leaders are concerned about their food systems’ ability to maintain local food security.

“As Asia’s population grows and urbanises, it is imperative that regional co-operation improves and food supply chains become smarter, better integrated and more efficient,” EIU managing editor and the project manager for Fixing Asia’s Food Systems Rashmi Dalai says.

“However, this is no easy task. A complex ecosystem of often divergent policy and societal concerns needs to be brought into alignment. This can only be done by first agreeing on the issues at hand and the urgency with which they need to be addressed.”

The recommendations include requiring stronger partnerships between the public and private sectors and across countries, as well as tighter integration across local and regional supply chains.

Available industry-driven solutions include greater collaborations to enforce food safety standards, education of farmers and improvements to the supply chain infrastructure.

As regional Asian cooperation improves and food supply chains become smarter, better integrated and more efficient, more trade opportunities could eventuate.