Smallholder Farmers in ASEAN
Southeast Asia is home to a young and growing population of some 600 million people across ten countries. The region is experiencing high economic growth, however, the new found prosperity is not distributed equally. Large parts of the population live in rural areas dominated by agriculture as their primary income where economic development lagging behind.
Smallholder farmers often lack access to quality seeds, fertile land, or working capital to purchase fertiliser. This leads to low yields or poor quality output. They also often lack access to sales channels that would give them reliable, time-efficient off-take at attractive prices.
At Camega3 we have identified smallholder farmers in ASEAN as an untapped potential that we plan to capture as an opportunity.
Soil and Climate in ASEAN
Southeast Asia is home to some of the most productive land on the planet. Thailand is one of the largest exporters of rice in the world, and Vietnam produces 40% of the world’s Robusta coffee. Some parts of Southeast Asia allow up to four harvests per year.
However, in parts of Southeast Asia land falls into disuse after all minerals and nutrients have been depleted, or the soil microbiome has been seriously damaged or destroyed. In other parts of Southeast Asia illegal logging exposes the top soil to erosion and turns areas that were once fertile into barren land. Climate change manifests itself across Southeast Asia where peaks in temperature, wind, rainfall and droughts exceed previous records with increasing frequency.
At Camega3 we have identified under-utilised or degraded agricultural land in ASEAN as an untapped potential that we plan to capture as an opportunity.
Our Franchise Platform
At Camega3 we have designed an innovative franchise platform to build a profitable, sustainable, circular bio-economy based agricultural business. We call it the Camega3 franchise. It is built on agronomy expertise, emerging agribusiness technologies, and advanced food processing technologies, international food standard certification, and direct access to downstream wholesaler and consumer markets.
As franchisor we provide
- A proven and tested franchise method (the “Method”),
- Operation manuals describing the Method and how to implement and operate it,
- Training of management and staff,
- Quality control,
- ISO certification,
- Marketing tools and branding,
- Processing equipment,
- Licences required to operate a franchise outlet.
As franchisor we charge
- A signing fee when setting up the franchise,
- Monthly licence fees, and
- Revenue based royalties for use of our patents.
Key benefits to the stakeholders include:
- Supply of high quality agricultural products from an ISO certified business
- Traceability services of agricultural products from producer to consumer
- Creating jobs and alleviating rural poverty
- Improving or restoring soil quality and health of under-utilised or degraded land
- Creating wealth or other benefits for all participating stakeholders
- Improving the national balance of payments by way of import substitution
- Processing equipment,
- Upholding and promoting ethical investment standards and CSR.
Omega-3 oil in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6) are essential components of the human diet as the human body itself cannot produce these kinds of fatty acid.
There is a growing shortage of omega-3 oil of the EPA and DHA types. Global demand for EPA and DHA is 1.4 million tonnes annually based on a recommended dose of 500 mg per day per capita  and a world population of 7.7 billion. Studies indicate actual consumption to be around 170 mg per day per capita, with significant imbalances across the strata of social status, education, and income.
Global supply of fish based EPA and DHA type omega-3 oil is approx. 520,000 metric tonnes from 43.3 million fatty fish that contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids .
This points to a severe supply shortage. Global fish catch of omega-3 producing fish declined by 14.5% in the last 30 years while the world population grew by 47.7%. Fish meal production peaked at 7.0 million MT in 1993/94 and has declined since then to 4.7 million MT in 2018/19. The decline was caused by overfishing and collapsing ocean fish stocks.
At Camega3, we believe we can make a major contribution by boosting supply of omega-3 oil from alternative sources.
All vegetable oils contain approx. 3 million metric tonnes of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3) type omega-3 oil, mostly from soybean, rapeseed, and flaxseed oils according to our estimates. This quantity amounts to approx. 100,000 metric tonnes EPA / DHA type equivalent, assuming all is consumed by humans and the human body converts ALA into EPA and DHA at a rate of between 2% to 6% (it varies by gender). While ALA type omega-3 oil is not a direct substitute for EPA or DHA and the conversion mechanisms and pathways between the three types are technologically and biologically involved, ALA omega-3 oil supply is the only viable, environmentally sustainable solution towards addressing the omega-3 oil shortage amid declining ocean fish stocks.
Solutions that are based on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), manipulated plant varieties, or acts of similarly questionable nature that are promoted as “safe” are unacceptable for us at Camega3.
At Camega3 we believe that Genetically Modified (GM) plants that produce EPA and DHA cannot be considered a sustainable solution and must be rejected. For us the only acceptable solutions are those that involve organic raw materials and biotechnological processing solutions that exclude all toxic or GMO ingredients.
Under the Camega3 franchise we deploy a range of key technologies with corresponding processing facilities in the food value chain:
- International food and pharma-grade processing technology certification including ISO 22000, HACCP, BCR, PIC/S.
- Clean room certification according to GMP (EU).
- Mother seed development and production;
- Expelling of oilseeds;
- Proprietary enzymatic refining of vegetable oil into omega-3 oil;
- Encapsuling of omega-3 oil;
- Agronomy specific ERP and crop monitoring system, emerging precision farming technologies.