Focus on the International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture


Focus on the International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture


Today, there are more than 7 billion people on the planet, a figure that is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. Overall food production needs to double in a relatively short period of time to meet food demand of the world's population. It is therefore an imperative for the different agricultural stakeholders to revolutionize the traditional agriculture.

On 19 January 2019, Agriculture ministers from 74 nations adopted a number of resolutions stated in a political communiqué on digitalization in agriculture, which was issued during the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). The common voice of the ministers states the need for an International Digital Council that will take action on global digitalization of agriculture.

The Ministerial Communiqué of the meeting, tasked FAO in partnership with other relevant entities (World Bank, IFAD, WFP, ITU, amongst others) to:

  • Develop a concept for considering the establishment of an international Digital Council for Food and Agriculture that will advise governments and other relevant actors, drive the exchange of ideas and experiences and consequently help everyone harness the opportunities presented by the digitalization.
  • Draw up a technology impact assessment of the opportunities and risks presented by digitalization for agriculture and rural areas.
  • Propose a common methodology to assess and track the digital development situation in the agricultural sector at national level, after 1 and 2 have been endorsed

 Summary of Activities

On the 13th of June 2019, FAO held the 1st Consultation Meeting for the International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture, during the Digital Agriculture Transformation Seminar.

The consultation was a design thinking session of better understanding the Digital Council scope, its role and functionalities and how the council will interact with different stakeholders and map out the next steps to undertake. 

Design Thinking Session at Africa Green Revolution Forum 

On the 3rd of September 2019, FAO sponsored a parallel session at the Africa Green Revolution Forum, whose objective was to initiate discussions on opportunities that an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture will bring to the sector, once established, and touches upon the scope of the Council and its mission.














The design-thinking workshop is an important first step towards the establishment of the Digital Council and concrete steps are needed to identify the necessary preconditions for establishing the Council. 

It is in this regard that AGRF represents a great opportunity for global and African leaders to hold even deeper discussions on the scope and the role of the Council, which is expected to be instrumental worldwide, including in Africa. Read more 

Design Thinking Session at the ITU Telecom World 2019

ITU Telecom World 2019 takes place from 9 to 12 September in Budapest, Hungary, bringing together governments, corporates and tech SMEs to exhibit innovative solutions, network, share knowledge and debate with experts.  

On the 11th of September 2019, FAO is sponsoring another design thinking session for the International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture and the ITU Telecom World offers a unique opportunity to discuss the establishment of such Digital Council. Read more.         

Working Group Focal Points

The following institutions are participating in the working group

  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • The World Bank (WB)
  • African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany (BMEL)
  • World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE

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