E-Agriculture

Day 5: Summarize the salient points of this discussion and recommend priority aspects for the f2f consultation

Day 5: Summarize the salient points of this discussion and recommend priority aspects for the f2f consultation

Please summarize what in your opinion have been the salient points of this discussion and recommend the priority aspects on which our face-to-face consultation should focus.


Résumer les points saillants de cette discussion et recommander les aspects prioritaires pour la consultation face-à-face.    
Veuillez résumer ce qui, à votre avis, a été le point saillant de cette discussion et recommander les aspects prioritaires sur lesquels notre consultation face-à-face devrait se concentrer. 


Cuáles fueron los principales puntos de la discusión y recomendaciones prioritarias que deberían considerarse en la consulta presencial en julio de 2018?

Por favor resuma cuáles son en su opinión los puntos sobresalientes en esta discusión y recomiende los aspectos prioritarios sobre los cuales  la consulta presencial debería enfocarse.

Leanne Wiseman
Leanne WisemanGriffith University, AustraliaAustralia

Simone, can I just congratulate you on the way you have brought the themes of this broadranging discussion together - well done

Saripalli  suryanarayana
Saripalli suryanarayanaProfessional Engineer-Administrator-40 years experience-water,irrigation and infrastructure Projects conceptulationIndia

[1]Importance of Food Habits-Food production systems-Changes in Gene modification of food items.

[2]Water supply-irrigation systems-power-solar pumps and rural-urban water storage and eradicating Malaria/or controlling-avoiding snake bites/find treatments for rural and urban populations who produce the food.

[3]World wide rationale in implementing the rights for finance and ways to store and sell produce.Produce and sales connected to immediate local requirements.

Ajit Maru
Ajit MaruIndependent ConsultantIndia

As one of the initiators of this e-consultation, I would also like to offer, IMHO, some of its possible conclusions.

The proceedings of this e-consultation point that policy, ethics and law will need to be associated and considered with in conjunction with issues such as expressed goals and objectives of a society, its choice of technology, development of structures, infrastructure and capacities to understand where the discourse on data driven, information rich and knowledge intensive farming, agriculture and Agri-food systems should go ahead with. Without these components included in any scenarios, the discussion, both for policy and other components of a data ecosystem such as technology remains abstract.

Data driven agriculture, in most parts of the world where smallholder farmers are in a majority, is very much in its infancy. The concept has not yet percolated to the policy makers who really count.  The farmers who would be most impacted are not yet adequately aware of the consequences of this development (or paradigm shift in my opinion). There may be a few stray statements by National leaders around this new agriculture (such as by the Indian Prime Minister) but as they say “One swallow does not make it a summer”. And, with great dismay, I would like to state that we who participate in this discourse are not yet powerful enough to impact for change. The potential of technology is far ahead than what we discuss now. However, this does not mean we should not continue exploring this area. In fact, it is our duty to do so continuosly and lead the discourse. I speak from personal experience. Many of the major Institutions I have been associated with rejected the very ideas in this area which they now proudly call theirs when they were first presented.

I am increasingly convinced that this discourse should primarily be centered around what will bring greater efficiency, better economics, higher quality, safety and transparency in the entire Agri-food systems and then consider what benefits individual actors such as farmers.

I have been concerned with issues related to smallholder farmers in which I also include farm laborers since now about 50 years. I do not have any romantic notions about their livelihoods and quality of life.  I know that they face an existential threat with this new farming and agriculture and most probably most will not survive in many parts of the world in the next 20 years. I am almost sure for India, which has among the largest numbers who we call smallholder farmers, many who not necessarily own land (we in India call them “landless” farmers), that this is happening.  Our discourse should consider this and see how we can buffer this shift in agriculture for these farmers. I am convinced that in the short term of 20-25 years, data driven agriculture can ease these farmers to leave their traditional vocation with greater dignity. We must consider this within the ambit of the discourse I have described above.

We had a very enlightening e-consultation. Some of us will comb it and thread the lessons we all are learning to continue this conversation elsewhere.

My sincerest thanks to all of you to have participated.

Valeria Pesce
Valeria PesceGlobal Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)Italy

A quick message of thanks as we move towards the end of this e-discussion.

(Although we will leave the forum open also in the weekend, as some colleagues said they wanted to contribute but didn't find the time. We will close it on Monday morning.)

Thanks to all the participants who contributed high quality content  and very special thanks to the experts who guided the conversation!

I also want to thank the FAO team that hosted the forum.

We will follow up on the recommendations given by all of you and will get back to you with the proceedings of this discussion as well as with updates on the next steps of the process.

Thank you!

Valeria on behalf of all the organizers

GFAR, GODAN, CYA, KTBL