The Ups and Downs of Palm Oil: Brief Take on A BIG Data Solution

09/25/14
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Palm oil is everywhere. From lipstick to biscuits to biodiesel fuel, palm oil is a product in growing demand, particularly in developed economies.

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal announced aWhere’s expansion into the palm oil market in SE Asia . Together, Indonesia and Malaysia account for approximately 85 percent of all of the palm oil produced around the world, and 4.5 million people earn a living from this cash crop. The governments of both countries have set aggressive targets for the use of palm oil in growing domestic biodiesel applications.

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When Palm Oil Takes a Hit, Farmers Feel it Most

Despite ambitious expansion plans, the WSJ suggests that these targets are not being met, resulting in palm oil prices dropping by 18 percent from March to July.

Earlier this year, overly pessimistic forecasts of a drought predicted a massive cut to palm oil yields in Indonesia and Malaysia. The drought did not materialize as expected, driving prices even lower as a more abundant supply entered the market than the demand required.

Guess who takes the biggest hit?

Farmers.

Like we always say at aWhere, “weather drives ag; ag drives economies,” and this is a perfect example of the critical importance of accurate, localized weather data in conjunction with actionable, field level insight provided directly to the farmer.

Despite palm oil’s slump this year, the two governments expect to forge ahead to expand production of palm oil in the long-term, and the future of palm oil is promising. As our company and product line expands into SE Asia, we ask the question, “How can our weather data and SmartContent equip the palm oil market, from high level decision-makers down to the farmer with the right meaningful information to make the most accurate, field-level decisions?”

Big Data in Agriculture: A New Competitive Edge

aWhere provides data solutions at the high commercial level all the way down to the hands of a farmer. Let’s break this down even more.

For decision makers of commercial growers and farmer intermediaries, aWhere products allow you to:

  • Navigate weather variability by accessing 30 years of historical weather data, daily weather and forecast data down to the field level.
  • Analyze the palm oil industry at the local, regional and global level to make smarter investments and business decisions along the value chain.
  • Make corporate-level decisions by leveraging aggregated data related to your market from our robust Data Library.
  • Send field level data directly to farmers from pest and disease alerts to market and pricing strategies, to input/output recommendations.

To learn how aWhere can help you make the most evidence-based, field level decisions for your company, contact us at globaldevelopment@awhere.com.

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