FAO Liaison Office with the European Union and the Kingdom of Belgium

Smart villages for a greener Europe


Smart villages offer strong scope for rural communities in Europe to tackle some of their most pressing problems, such as poverty and limited access to technology. That was the message from a high-level event on Smart Villages for a Green, Digital and Resilient Europe attended by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu. The event was organized in the framework of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU and co-organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food and the office of Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Franc Bogovič, who is also a Member of the European Parliamentary Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition.

Participants highlighted the high potential of rural areas that embrace the concept of smart villages, with opportunities ranging from food provision and job creation to tourism and climate change mitigation.

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu observed that small towns can create new opportunities for agri-food systems: “Villages and rural towns are crucial to create sustainable landscapes and seascapes for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind,” he noted.

E-agriculture and digital farming services are tools to optimize farmers’ key role in our agri-food systems, connect them to markets and create efficient and sustainable supply chains. “Let’s revive rural villages to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said the FAO Director-General.

During the event, special attention was paid to ensuring access to digital technologies and enhanced connectivity in rural areas. Digitalization is essential to reduce the development gap between urban and rural areas, said MEP Bogovič.

You can read more on FAO’s work on digital agriculture here.

You can read more on FAO’s work on an inclusive rural transformation here.