Director-General  QU Dongyu
A statement by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu


Introducing the Agrifood Systems Technologies and Innovations Outlook (ATIO)

Opening Remarks


Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

20 October 2022


Ladies and Gentlemen,


1.            Our world is facing complex challenges that are increasing world hunger and inequality, and negatively impacting the livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations.


2.            As the planet is warming and natural resources become scarce, our efforts to achieve the SDGs are at risk.


3.            We have heard over the last couple of days how the strategic development and deployment of science, technology and innovation is key to transforming agrifood systems.


4.            Innovation also includes business innovation and social innovation.


5.            We have also heard that countries have diverse challenges, needs and capacities with respect to science and innovation, related to infrastructure, levels of education and technical capacities.


6.            Existing technologies and innovations are impactful, but there is a gap in their effective use, due to appropriateness, accessibility and affordability.


7.            At the same time, there are major common challenges at national, regional and global levels.


8.            Addressing these challenges requires the coordinated efforts of a range of actors.


9.            In this regard, FAO plays a key role by providing global public goods, knowledge, guidance, coordination and policy coherence and consultation.


10.          Policymakers and investors need clear and strong messages supported by robust scientific evidence, professional analysis, open access data for decision-making and investment planning.


11.          But data and analyses are currently broadly scattered, and difficult to synthesize and access for decision-makers. 



12.          FAO and its partners are focused on making information and data widely available, and facilitating its use.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


13.          Today, we are here to discuss the Agrifood Systems Technologies and Innovations Outlook (ATIO), a new knowledge product that is a direct outcome of FAO’s first-ever Science and Innovation Strategy.


14.          A thematic Strategy that ensures that science, technology and innovation are cross-cutting in all our efforts to help create a more equitable world through the transformation of global agrifood systems.


15.          The pace, direction and impact of this transformation can and should be influenced by actionable evidence.


16.          ATIO represents the most recent example of an urgently needed coordinated effort on up-to-date monitoring and assessment of science, technology and innovation.


17.          ATIO will be a path-breaking initiative and will become a biennial flagship FAO publication, reinforced by focused, complementary publications, and a regularly updated open access database.


18.          It will supplement valuable data curation on the current, measurable state of science, technology and innovation with horizon-scanning and foresight, and with syntheses of the available evidence on their impacts.


19.          ATIO will help engage stakeholders, and shareholders, in discussions towards a shared understanding of agrifood systems,


20.          As well as the scientific, technological and innovative future directions that must be taken to address the challenges of reducing global poverty and hunger.


Dear Colleagues,


21.          ATIO will help foster constructive policy dialogue and stimulate increased investment in science, technology and innovation across agrifood systems, especially in low- and middle-income countries.


22.          This Forum represents an opportunity to identify information gaps and to discuss how ATIO can be best developed and utilized with partners to leverage cross-cutting potential and foster synergies.


23.          FAO has a global responsibility to ensure that all efforts are made to reduce poverty and hunger worldwide,


24.          And I am convinced that the launch of this innovative initiative will guarantee that essential data and evidence needed for the transformation of our global agrifood systems becomes accessible to all those who need it, particularly decision-makers, as well as the private sector.


25.          In support of more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable agrifood systems,


26.          To achieve the 4 betters: better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.


27.          Thank you for your collaboration and contribution.