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FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Innovation week in America 2019 - Smart rural communities

05-08-19 - 08-08-19

Pictures of the event

Semana de la innovación en América 2019


About the event

This is the first regional event organized jointly by FAO-ANTEL-ITU and, in addition, corresponds to the 5th FAO Innovation Forum called "Americas Innovation Week 2019".

Rural communities are not immune to the challenges posed by new technologies and their contribution to mobilizing local assets to take better advantage of the opportunities that arise in rural territories.

The focus of this alliance between ITU, ANTEL and FAO aims to empower rural communities facing the changes that social, economic, digital and environmental innovation is bringing, where ICTs can provide an effective contribution to face the challenges of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The European Union defines the concept of smart rural communities as rural areas and communities that take advantage of their strengths and resources, developing new opportunities, in which traditional networks and services are improved through new digital, telecommunication and innovation technologies for a better use of knowledge for the benefit of the inhabitants.

The irruption of this new concept is explained by the challenges that these territories would face today. Many of the rural areas would be trapped in what is called a "circle of decline", where the shortage of jobs and services would cause migration, especially of young people, to other sectors. This translates into a low population density, depriving the territory of critical mass to improve its services, its infrastructure and the creation of job and business opportunities.


Raise awareness and commitment through a space of discussion and analysis to generate a favorable environment, stimulating the potential for innovation in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, in order to foster smart rural communities more prepared to face the challenges of the 2030 Agenda.

Specific objectives

  • Facilitate dialogue between relevant actors from their areas of action and the exchange of concrete experiences and knowledge among social, digital, environmental and economic innovation leaders, in which digital solutions or technologies have played a relevant role for sustainable rural development.
  • Identify needs, encourage different types of innovation and connect digital ICTs and digital innovation with sustainable agricultural development in the region.
  • Analyze the challenges to reduce the digital divide in rural territories for the adoption and deployment of new technologies.
  • Discuss and analyze the experiences, lessons learned and results achieved in the countries of the region to improve the livelihoods and resilience of family farmers.
  • Identify needs, priorities and opportunities at the policy level to strengthen innovation systems that improve multisectoral dialogue.

Expected results

A report with recommendations for the ITU and FAO Agencies that will contribute to their work in the Region and in the ITU Study Commissions on the use of ICT in responsible and sustainable agricultural production.

 A commitment to strengthen smart rural communities to face the challenges of the 2030 Agenda and leaving no one behind.


  1. Agricultural innovation systems: Towards smart rural communities
  2. Global trends and new technologies for efficient and sustainable agricultural production.
  3. Adaptation and resilience of family farming facing climate change.
  4. Technologies for efficient agricultural value chains.
  5. Sustainability of employment and adoption of new technologies.
  6. Technologies for inclusion and accessibility.
  7. ICTs as a tool in the agricultural production.