Innovative solutions within digital-agriculture, highlighted in FAO Director General’s interview with Xinhua
Along the sidelines of the 34th FAO's Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific in Fiji, Xinhua interviewed the Director-general of FAO Mr. José Graziano da Silva on the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by China in 2013 and aims to ‘build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes to seek common development and prosperity.
In his interview, Graziano ‘da Silva said that FAO has supported the initiative by having an umbrella program which identified four specific technical areas,
- Inclusive and sustainable food system development,
- Bringing innovation to the field through digital agriculture,
- Enhancing the control of transboundary animal and plant diseases,
- Protecting biodiversity and improving resilience to climate change
Regarding the area of innovation and digital agriculture, he said that providing remote areas with improved access to information, digital-agriculture can help eradicate poverty.
Some of the quotes are:-
"Digital-agriculture includes providing access to information on plant and animal diseases, production techniques, quality standards, specialist advice, access to financial services and training. This creates the opportunity for farmers to leap-frog on the path of technical development, as they can immediately start using the newest technology," he said, adding that "achieving inclusive, pro-poor outcomes with e-agriculture must be deliberately designed into the programmes from the outset."
"Climate change must be taken into account when assessing opportunities for value chain development; innovative applications of the information and communication technologies (ICTs) and e-agriculture can be devised to improve resilience to climate change, and the implications of climate change for the spread of disease is well recognized"