FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

1,000 DIGITAL VILLAGE INITIATIVE – Knowledge sharing and policy dialogue

27/06/2022-27/06/2022 Virtual, Bangkok, Thailand

The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is convening a one-day special event to explore innovations and technologies in emerging and existing ‘digital villages’ across the Asia-Pacific region. The event is open to invited participants (via Webinar) and observers (via Live Webcast).  

This high-level event will feature:

  • A Ministerial Roundtable headed by FAO’s Director-General, Dr QU Dongyu, and Government Ministers from the Asia and Pacific region.
  • An Expert Roundtable on successful initiatives and partnerships in enabling inclusive rural and agrifood systems transformation through digitalization
  • Introduction to the Digital Village Initiative Knowledge Exchange Platform

From the biggest city to the smallest village – digitalization is leading the way to a better future!

It wasn’t that long ago that Internet connectivity faded the moment one left a populated area like a big city or town, but thanks 3G, 4G and 5G mobile technology, connectivity is now possible even in the remotest of areas of Asia and the Pacific.

While this expansion of digital technology into rural areas of many countries has made it much easier to stay in touch by phone, surf the Web and connect through social media, more importantly the growth of digitalization has opened a whole new world of possibility – and profitability – even in some of the most remote areas of the Asia-Pacific region.  

For the people of small towns and villages, from farmers to fishers to herders, digital technologies are sweeping across landscapes bringing useful life and livelihood information and innovations to hundreds of millions of people – smallholders and others – who produce, transport and provide the food we eat each day.

Complementary to this event, a “Digital Village Initiative Knowledge Exchange Platform” has been created by the FAO Office for Asia and the Pacific, as a one-stop village square, where those working in the food and agriculture sectors can share their innovations and technologies with all of us.

Working and sharing together, our digital village innovations and technologies can help lead us all to a world of better production, better nutrition, better environment and a better life – leaving no one behind!

You are invited to join us for this highly interesting event.

You can register for the event here


You can also follow the discussions on our Webcast. Check here for times and links to the Webcast

For general enquiries about the event, please contact: [email protected]

Media enquiries (only), please contact: [email protected]


1,000 Digital Village Initiative Knowledge Sharing and Policy Dialogue

“Enabling inclusive rural and agrifood system transformation
through digitalization”


A High Level (Virtual) Regional Event

Organized by


FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific


Virtual Event, 27 June 2022

11.00-16.00 hours (GMT +7) Bangkok time / 09.00-11.00 Rome time


1)     Expert Roundtable – 11:00 to 13:00 hrs. (Bangkok time)

2)    Ministerial Level Event (DVI Platform Launch) – 14:00 to 16:00 hrs. (Bangkok time)



(11:00 to 13:00 hrs. Bangkok time)

TIME (min)




Expert roundtable - Session 1: Digitalization initiatives for inclusive rural transformation


Session Moderator: Mr. Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO



Opening and welcoming remarks

Jong-Jin Kim, ADG/RR, RAP


Introductory remarks by session moderator

Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO





Presentation 1: A digital village ecosystem approach to digitalization for rural transformation: Pilot applications in several Asian countries

Aziz Elbehri, Senior Economist, FAO

Presentation 2: Digital open data platforms and their role in digitalization in agriculture: Lessons from initiatives in Kenya and elsewhere

Parmesh Shah, Lead Rural Development Expert, World Bank


Presentation 3: Facilitating inclusive e-Commerce development in China

Jikun Huang, Professor, Peking University and Director, CCAP

Presentation 4: Leveraging digital finance and digital services using female banking agents to deliver financial services in rural India

Amit Arora, Alreena Pinot, Rural Development Finance, World Bank





Summary and closing remarks

Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO


Expert roundtable – Session 2: Partnership initiatives for digital ecosystem development for inclusive rural transformation


Session Moderator: Ms. Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director-General, FAO



Moderator opening remarks

Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director- General, FAO


Presentation 1: Supporting the private sector in delivering digital services to farmers and rural communities - Experiences from ADB

Navin K. Twarakavi, Asian Development Bank


Presentation 2: Multi-partnerships for accelerating digitalization in Small Island States: The case of Vanuatu

John Jack, Chief Communication Officer/Office of Prime Minister, Vanuatu


Presentation 3: Leveraging multi-partnerships to enable digital solutions for agriculture finance: The case of Uganda

Carlo Bravi, Senior Economist, FAO


Presentation 4: Private-led initiatives to support digital ecosystems and deliver digital services to farmers and rural communities –Lessons from Africa and India

Sriram  Baratam, CEO and founder, Kuza Biashara Entreprise



Q & A segment




Closing remarks for the DVI roundtable

Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director- General, FAO





(14:00 to 16:00 hrs. Bangkok time)

TIME (min)



Ministerial Roundtable: Knowledge sharing, innovation and digitalization as catalysts to rural transformation and contributions to SDGs in Asia and the Pacific


Facilitated by – Mr. Maximo Torero, Chief Economist



Opening remarks by Dr. QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO

Moderator: Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO












45 minutes total


(Ministerial interventions, 5 minutes intervention each)

Ministerial Roundtable

Theme: From ambition to implementation – initiatives and strategies to scale up digitalization for inclusive rural transformation 


Short interventions by Minister panelists:

  • Bangladesh
  • Mongolia
  • Indonesia
  • Republic of Korea
  • Tonga


Short interventions by partners:

  • International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
  • International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD)
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)


Closing remarks

Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO


SESSION 2:  Introducing the Digital Village Initiative Platform


Facilitated by Mr. Jong-Jin Kim, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific (ADG/RR, RAP)



Opening remarks by ADG/RR, RAP, Jong-Jin Kim - Introduction to the Digital Village Initiative and the regional knowledge-sharing platform

Jong-Jin Kim, ADG/RR, RAP


An introduction to the Digital Village Initiative Knowledge-sharing (web) platform


Jong-Jin Kim, ADG/RR, RAP


Aziz Elbehri, Senior Economist, FAO-RAP


Examples of country-level digital village pilots and successful digitalization applications


From Asia:

  • Bangladesh - Digital services and solutions for farmers and rural women under pilot (5 minutes)
  • Indonesia – Digital innovations rural villages: West Java (5 minutes)
  • Thailand – Smart faming innovations illustrations across Thailand (pilot cases) (5 minutes)
  • Republic of Korea– Smart farming technologies powering Korea’s agriculture and rural economy (5 minutes)


Outside Asia:

  • Latin America (RLC) - Digital village initiative from Ecuador (innovations in good practices and eco-tourism (5 minutes)
  • Africa (RAF) - Focus on Senegal digital village initiative interventions supported by FAO (5 minutes)
  • Near East (RNE) – Digital innovations from Jordan (5 minutes)
  • Eastern Europe (REU) – digitalization for small holders in villages of Albania (5 minutes)

FAORs of selected countries


Event closing remarks

Jong-Jin Kim, ADG/RR, RAP