The FAO Digital Agriculture Transformation Seminar ends


The FAO Digital Agriculture Transformation Seminar ends

The curtain came down for the FAO Digital Agriculture Transformation Seminar on the 13th of June at FAO headquarters. The seminar was attended by several hundred participants and included government ministers, representatives of civil society and the private sector, non-governmental organizations and others.

The FAO Director General had the pleasure to invite Mr. Chang-Gyu Hwang, CEO, Korea Telecom (KT) who opened the seminar with an impressive summary of the possibilities that digital technologies have for agriculture, and what KT has done and is doing.

The two day event saw the first day dedicated to four High-Level panel discussions, with digital divide being the theme of the first panel discussion. The seminar came heels after the launch of ‘The age of digital interdependence’ by the UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

When opening the FAO Digital Agriculture Transformation, the FAO Director General remarked that, “ICTs have the potential to reshape not only the way we work in agriculture but also our food systems, the way we will eat in the future”.

The seminar focused on a cross-cutting sub-themes related to digital agriculture, such as data protection, data standards, impact of technological advancement on family farmers, and many others.

In each high-level panel, there were 4 or more presentations aligned to the theme of the panel. For example the High Level Panel 1, focused on Strengthening Smallholders by Bridging the Rural Digital Divide had four presentations.

Strengthening Smallholders by Bridging the Rural Digital Divide 

The session built on the assumption that digital agriculture is transforming the entire food systems, including consumption pattern, distribution of produce, access to physical and financial resources in agriculture. However, the digital divide may also be a factor that contributes to increases inequalities.

The session summarised the various forms of digital divide that exist in the agricultural divide, which are:

  • the rural-urban divide;
  • the economic divide (rich vs poor);
  • the gender divide (male vs female);
  • generational divide.

The use of Digital technologies help in the transition towards more sustainable production systems improving smallholder farmers use of resources such as water, pesticides, increasing their resilience and allowing them to access various social services.

Nevertheless, there is a need to monitor the digital divide in order to close the gap that affects the most vulnerable population, especially in relation to gender differentiated access to ICTs, to inform governments (policy makers and regulators), and engage stakeholders who are part of the solution (including private sector, civil society and producer organizations), in policy dialogue. 

Why not review other sessions here


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