FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Shortlists of the FAO-ITU ‘Digital Excellence in Agriculture’ regional contest announced

Finalists in seven categories of the ‘Digital Excellence in Agriculture in Europe and Central Asia’ award of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and FAO have been announced. The initiative, launched in November 2020,aims to identify, showcase, and celebrate good practices and innovative solutions proven successful in advancing the digital transformation of agriculture.

With nearly 200 applicants from 38 countries in Europe and Central Asia, the ‘Digital Excellence in Agriculture in Europe and Central Asia’ regional contest revealed a diverse, dynamic and future-looking ecosystem of innovators and problem-solvers. The award ceremony will be held virtually on 23 September 2021.

The 28 selected practices were announced during the launch of the ITU-FAO Stocktaking Report: Digital Excellence in Agriculture in Europe and Central Asia – Good practices in the field of digital agriculture on 9 July that presented 171 eligible practices from those submitted to the regional contest.

The shortlisted practices were identified as impactful, sustainable, scalable, innovative, and as having used a combination of technologies with the potential to enhance the digital transition of the agricultural sector in Europe and Central Asia.

On top of the 21 outstanding practices (three per category), seven ‘champion’ practices (one per category) were identified from the 18 countries of the ITU-FAO review on the status of digital agriculture in Europe and Central Asia (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan).

Finalists of the seven categories:

Category 1: Regulatory frameworks / enhanced market access / financial services and insurance

  • Local Food Nodes - Local Food Nodes Röstånga ek Förening;
  • Mobile application “NMA agro” – National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania;
  • Straight from the Farm – Fresh.Land;
  • Integrated One Stop Shop for farmers to access finance, markets, inputs, and knowledge – Agrianalytica LLC.

Category 2:  Capacity development and empowerment

  • Organic Farm Knowledge – online platform to promote knowledge exchange among organic farmers and advisors;
  • Electronic agricultural maps – Agro InformAsia;
  • FarmForesight – FarmForesight;
  • Genpro – Ruralbit Lda.

Category 3: Agriculture innovations systems and sustainable farming – farm automation, robots, drones

  • Bakus, full electric and autonomous vineyards robot – VitiBot;
  • High-Precision Weed Control in Organic Farming – West Coast University of Applied Science;
  • Biological protection of plants by entomophages using unmanned aerial vehicles – LLC “Fly and See Agro”;
  • Intelligent watering taking advantage of the existing irrigation installation – BRIOAGRO TECH.

Category 4: Agriculture innovations systems and sustainable farming – specific solutions

  • Apiary Book – Apiary Book Ltd.;
  • i-bee – IT INNOVATIONS;
  • Nedap CowControl – Nedap Livestock Management;
  • Hive-Tech – 3Bee Srl.

Category 5: Agriculture innovations systems and sustainable farming – connected farm management systems

  • Agricolus platform – Agricolus s.r.l.;
  • xFarm – xFarm;
  • AGRIVI Farm Management Software – AGRIVI d.o.o.;
  • The AI-powered OneSoil platform for precision farming that is free for farmers to use – OneSoil.

Category 6: Disaster risk management and early warning systems

  • agroNET – digital platform for sustainable farming – DunavNET;
  • VIPS – NIBIO;
  • Sencrop: precision ag-weather solutions – Sencrop;
  • Disease and Pest Forecast with Artificial Intelligence – Pessl Instruments GmbH.

Category 7: Food loss and waste / food safety and traceability

  • Farmer Expert – Farmer Expert;
  • OLIO – OLIO Exchange Limited;
  • BIOsens Myco – BIOsens;
  • Real-time digital food supply chain auditing, powered by blockchain – Connecting Food.

About the contest

The ‘Digital Excellence in Agriculture’ contest seeks to identify and promote transformative digital solutions that contribute to building resilient food systems in the region. The initiative contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular to SDG 2 (zero hunger), to a sustainable and inclusive digital transition, and to helping bridge digital, rural, and gender disparities, known as the ‘triple divide’.

The contest also marks an important milestone in the implementation of FAO and ITU regional initiatives and cooperation. It supports in particular the FAO regional initiative on empowering smallholders, family farms and youth, facilitating rural livelihoods, and poverty reduction.

19 July 2021, Budapest, Hungary