High Level Panel – Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2019


High Level Panel – Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2019

Utilizing the Power of Digital Innovations for youth, smallholders and family farmers.

The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is organized by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Germany) and is hosted by the European Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). FAO is sponsoring a high level panel on,  Utilizing the Power of Digital Innovations for youth, smallholders and family farmers 

Background to the highlevel panel

The world faces unprecedented challenges affecting the sustainability of agriculture and the livelihood of millions of family farmers. Pressure from population growth, natural resource depletion, climate change and the increasing occurrence of transboundary pests and diseases can seriously hamper food security and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Digital technologies and innovations have the potential to revolutionize our food systems. If used properly, they can enhance the production of nutritious and safe food, create employment and income opportunities for rural populations, including youth and women, and protect natural resources.

The effective combination of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) with appropriate data and knowledge provides valuable services for family farmers and young entrepreneurs. An increasing number of young entrepreneurs are already developing digital innovations in agriculture that can deliver significant socio-economic benefits, accelerate poverty alleviation, entrepreneurship, job creation, education and food security.

ICTs can help smallholders and family farmers coordinate production planning and monitoring, and marketing systems by virtually aggregating information and improving their access to advisory, financial, insurance, and market services. Innovative information and communication technologies, such as drones, satellite imaging, and remote sensors among others, can help develop early-warning and disaster risk reduction models. Through the adoption of appropriate agronomy techniques and the facilitation of agro-technology transfer systems, these can enhance both, the preparedness and adaptation of family farmers.

While digital technologies and innovations can play a crucial role in supporting smallholders and family farmers around the world, there are a number of challenges which prevent their access and use for those most in need. These can be addressed through increased support in the access of information and knowledge, scaling up technological adaptation, developing enabling policies, and providing adequate support systems to realize the digital promise.

The panel will:

  • Identify smallholders and family farmers’ challenges and barriers in accessing and utilizing data and innovative technologies to improve food security and nutrition, through country case examples.
  • Identify the role and interventions of governments, civil society, private sector, academia, and farmers to address both challenges and barriers to ensure sustained benefits for family farmers.
  • Identify governmental strategies and policy options for creating an enabling environment to bridge the rural digital divide and create opportunities for rural youth, smallholders and family farmers, and to improve rural livelihoods and sustainability of agrifood systems.

The panel will be composed of five ministers of agriculture of countries with prevalence of smallholdings and family farms from different continents: Africa (Kenya/ Rwanda), Asia (China/ India/ Nepal/ Philippines), Europe (Albania/ Bulgaria/ Estonia/ The Netherlands/ Slovenia), Near East (Egypt) , Latin America (Argentina/ Brazil/ Columbia).


  1. Dr. Luis Miguel Etchevehere, State Secretary of Agroindustry, Argentina
  2. Qu Dongyu, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, The People’s Republic of China
  3. Dr. Aleksandra Pivec, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Slovenia
  4. Dr. Ezz El-Din Abu Steit, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt


Tanja Busse .

The above announcement is as published by the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA 2019)

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