Towards the establishment of an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture
The need for an inclusive and multi-stakeholder approach to discuss digital technologies in agriculture and food has been reflected in January 2019, during the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) , approximately 74 ministers of agriculture from around the world and high-level representatives of international organizations committed to use the potential of digitalization to increase agricultural production and productivity, while improving sustainability, efficient resource use, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, and living conditions, especially in rural areas.
Based on the Ministerial Communiqué 2019 , the agriculture ministers called upon FAO to draw up, in consultation with stakeholders including the World Bank, African Development Bank, IFAD, WFP, OECD, WTO, ITU, OIE and CTA a concept for the establishment of an international Digital Council for Food and Agriculture to help everyone harness the opportunities presented by digitalization.
Focal points were identified from each organization to work as part of a taskforce to join efforts to create a concept note for the establishment of an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture, as a starting point for this initiative. Working collaboratively, such a Council would discuss and develop voluntary guidelines, provide advice to policymakers, and enhance knowledge-sharing on best practices that would contribute to sustainable agriculture and rural development during the digital transformation.
To date, FAO jointly with the international organizations:
- House an open consultation process involving relevant multi-stakeholders to develop the proposal for the establishment of an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture;
- Work towards delivering a Concept Note based on a participatory consensus-based approach that defines the Terms of Reference (purpose, scope, functions, legality roles and responsibility, and operating model) to establish the International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture, together with a roadmap for implementation; and
- Identify constitution, mechanism and timeline for the establishment and implementation of the International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture.
Given this background, this consultation aims to involve stakeholders, interested parties and individuals in the development and improvement of the proposed Concept Note.
The current draft is in the process of being developed by FAO, with the support of Deloitte and in consultation with the taskforce focal points through a series of consultation meetings. Following this online consultation, FAO, together with the focal points will reconvene to discuss its outcomes and develop the final Concept Note. For this consultation, we will share some key parts of the Concept Note for which we still need inputs and suggestions from each of you.
To better understand the points of view toward the establishment of a Digital Council, we hereby invite you to consider the following questions:
- What are the potential entry points for government to address challenges and foster the development of digital agriculture?
(Please click here to see the relevant section of the Concept Note)
- How can the establishment of the Digital Council address the numerous barriers to adoption of these technologies?
(Please click here to see the relevant section of the Concept Note)
- Do you think that the roles identified for the Digital Council are suitable for facing the agrifood systems challenges outlined above?
(Please click here to see the relevant section of the Concept Note)
- What governance structure should be in place in order for the Council to serve its purpose?
(Please click here to see the relevant section of the Concept Note)
- Please add any other comment or relevant content you think should be included in the Concept Note.
We thank you for your valuable contribution to the development of the Concept Note for a Digital Council for Food and Agriculture and for helping the Taskforce prepare a comprehensive document document that considers the view and experiences of all relevant stakeholders.
Samuel Varas, FAO
Meng Zeng, FAO
This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.
FSN Forum Team
We would like to share a brief update on the process of establishing an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture.
Your comments have provided precious information that fed into the drafting process of the updated concept note “Realizing the potential of digitalization to improve the agri-food system: Proposing a new International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture”.
This note has received the support from 74 Ministers of Agriculture during its presentation at the 2020 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture held in Berlin.
The topic of the establishment of the Digital Council will be brought to the attention of FAO Member States at the spring session of the Governing Bodies, where the next steps in the process will be defined.
Permanent Representation of P.R.China
We received from our capital some comments on the draft concept note towards the establishment of an International Digital Council. Those comments are attached to this email in Chinese. It would be appreciated if you could give due consideration to them while preparing the document.
With best regards
Ministerio de Agricultura Ganadería y Alimentación
Sirva el presente para enviar la Nota Verbal N° 6998/19M16-FAO, mediante la cual se transmiten comentarios del Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación, sobre la creación de un Consejo Digital Internacional para la Alimentación y la Agricultura.
English translation below
Vous trouverez ci-dessous la contribution de la France au questionnaire en ligne dans le cadre de la mise en place d’un Conseil numérique pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture :
Tout d'abord, la notion de "technologies" n'est pas définie dans les questionnaires et le processus de consultation peut être biaisé par des conceptions différentes autour de ce mot très large.
Question 1. Quels sont les points d'entrée potentiels qui permettraient aux gouvernements de relever les défis et de favoriser le développement de l'agriculture numérique ?
- D'une manière générale, les points listés ne paraissent pas des points d'entrée puisqu'ils sont tous formulés de manière négative. il faudrait donc retourner de manière positive les points énoncés. Par exemple : "accès inadéquat à l'information" deviendrait " rendre un accès adéquat et égal à tous les agriculteurs à l'information / améliorer l'accès de tous les agriculteurs à une information adéquate"
- L'accès inadéquat à l'information : Il faut retourner la question. Il s'agit non pas de constater que l’information est inadéquate, mais plutôt de s'assurer et mettre en œuvre les moyen permettant la production, la mise en forme et la mise à disposition de connaissances utiles, facilement compréhensibles et exploitables par leurs bénéficiaires potentiels , quelle que soit la compétence initiale de ceux-ci ;
- Une inadéquation de la culture numérique : la main-d’œuvre est encore loin d'être compétitive dans un monde où les technologies numériques sont capables de remplacer la main-d’œuvre humaine.
Cette phrase très générique sur le remplacement de la main d'œuvre humaine par "les technologies numériques" est très généraliste et donc potentiellement dangereuse car n'est pas explicite. de quoi parle-t-on ? Les technologies doivent être développées pour créer des outils (cognitifs, physiques ou numériques) visant à accompagner la main d’œuvre et lui permettre d'accomplir des tâches moins pénibles ou créant davantage de valeur, et non pas seulement pour remplacer la main d’œuvre (dans certains pays, cette main d’œuvre n'a pas d'autre ressource que le travail de la terre, soit pour ce qu'elle produit, soit pour le salaire qu'elle en reçoit).
- L'accès inadéquat aux ressources financières : il faut ajuster la nature et le niveau des investissements initiaux à la capacité financière et aux besoins des bénéficiaires. L'investissement (par les agriculteurs ou les structures qui les représentent) dans les technologies numériques doivent produire rapidement une valeur ajoutée concrète par rapport à leur système de production et d'information actuel. Un bon indicateur serait la capacité à réinvestir dans une technologie subventionnée à titre pilote par exemple.
- Soutien inadéquat du système d'innovation : Il ne faut pas réduire la mise en place des innovations à des normes et cadres réglementaires. il s'agit également de mettre en place des dispositifs d'information et de formation qui permettent aux différents acteurs de bénéficier des systèmes d'innovation mis en place
- Faible niveau d'investissement dans les pays non développés : la diversité des modèles de production agricole et agro-alimentaire a pour effet que les solutions technologiques ne sont pas universelles (sauf à vouloir des modèles uniformes, ce qui ne profiterait qu'aux gros fournisseurs mondiaux de produits, d'équipements, de semences, de services numériques, etc.) ; il faut partir du marché pour concevoir des réponses technologiques adaptées. Si le marché existe et correspond effectivement à des besoins, le privé effectuera les investissements nécessaires pour le développement de solutions numériques pour lesquelles il espère un retour sur investissement.
- Confiance en l'information : en sus des risques de manipulation ou de déficit de qualité des informations, l'utilisateur ne doit pas être tributaire d'un fournisseur unique, ni pour les connaissances accessibles, ni pour les données produites et réutilisées par son exploitation (enjeu de portabilité). Des systèmes de contrôle de la véracité de l'information et de sa diffusion doivent être mis en place et contrôlés par des structures indépendantes.
- Propriété des données : le paysan producteur de données doit pouvoir être libre de donner ou pas des données le concernant, d'y garder un accès constant et être protégé contre toute réutilisation de ses données qui se ferait à son détriment ou au détriment de son exploitation.
Question 2. Comment la création du Conseil numérique peut-elle contribuer à lever les nombreux obstacles à l'adoption de ces technologies ?
- Principe d'accessibilité : L'accessibilité aux technologies numériques doit être assurée, non seulement aux femmes et aux jeunes, mais aussi aux "seniors" qui sont souvent les premiers victimes de la fracture numérique. Il serait plus juste de trouver une formule visant tout groupe social qui serait marginalisé ou laissé pour compte suite à une transformation technique. Le fait que les jeunes accèdent plus vite à la technologie que leurs aînés a une implication forte de déstructuration des processus de transmission du savoir, qui impacte fortement la cohérence sociale. il faut insister sur la transmission intergénérationnelle et bi-directionnelle des savoirs, en utilisant non seulement les outils numériques, mais sans se couper d'autres sources traditionnelles de connaissances.
Question 3: Pensez-vous que les rôles assignés au Conseil numérique sont appropriés pour faire face aux défis des systèmes alimentaires décrits ci-dessus ?
Un troisième rôle de suivi-évaluation du rôle et de l'impact des technologies numériques sur le développement durable et l'atteinte des ODD pourrait être ajouté.
Question 4. Quelle structure de gouvernance convient-il de mettre en place pour que le Conseil puisse remplir sa mission? Estimez-vous que le scénario de gouvernance proposé est politiquement réalisable ?
juste quelques questions d'éclaircissement.
Dans le conseil exécutif, que faut-il comprendre dans "une représentation équilibrée d'intervenants critiques de niveau intermédiaire à supérieur" ?
Il manque des précisions sur le nombre de membres et la composition du secrétariat.
Conseillère agricole et sécurité alimentaire
Please find below France's contribution to the online questionnaire as part of the process of setting up a Digital Council for Food and Agriculture.
First of all, the notion of "technologies" is not defined in the questionnaires and the consultation process may be biased by the different conceptions surrounding this very broad word.
Question 1. What are the potential entry points for government to address challenges and foster the development of digital agriculture?
- Generally speaking, the items listed do not appear to be entry points since they are all formulated in a negative way. It would therefore be necessary to positively reverse the points raised. For example : The phrase "inadequate access to information" would become "adequate and equal access to information for all farmers / improve access to adequate information for all farmers".
- Inadequate access to information :
The question must be turned around. The idea is not to find that the information is inadequate, but rather to ensure and implement the means to produce, shape and make available useful knowledge that is easily understandable and usable by its potential beneficiaries, regardless of their initial competence;
- Inadequate digital literacy:
labour is not yet competitive in a world where digital technologies are able to replace human labour.
This very generic sentence on the replacement of human labour by "digital technologies" is very broad and therefore potentially dangerous since it is not explicit. What are we talking about? Technological development must aim at creating tools (cognitive, physical or digital) to support the workforce and enable it to perform less arduous or more value-creating tasks, and not only to replace labour (in some countries, this labour force has no other resource than working the land, either for what it produces or for the wages it receives from it).
- Inadequate access to financial resources:
the type and level of initial investments must be adjusted to the financial capacity and needs of the beneficiaries. Investment (by farmers or their representative entities) in digital technologies must rapidly produce concrete added value compared to their current production and information system. A good indicator would be, for example, the ability to reinvest in a pilot subsidized technology.
- Inadequate support by the innovation system:
The implementation of innovations must not be reduced to standards and regulatory frameworks. It also involves setting up information and training systems that allow the different actors to benefit from the innovation systems implemented.
- Lack of investments in non-developed countries:
the diversity of agricultural and agri-food production models implies that technological solutions are not universal (unless the aim is to have uniform models, which would only benefit large global suppliers of products, equipment, seeds, digital services, etc.); it is essential to start from the market to design appropriate technological responses. If there is a market and if it actually corresponds to needs, the private sector will make the necessary investments for the development of digital solutions for which a return on investment is expected.
- Trust of information:
besides the risks of manipulation or a lack of quality of information, the user must not depend on a single supplier, neither for the accessible knowledge, nor for the data produced and reused by his or her operation (portability issue). Monitoring systems to ensure the veracity of information and its dissemination must be set up and supervised by independent structures.
- Data ownership:
the data-producing farmer has to be free to give or not to give data about himself, to keep constant access to such data and to be protected against any re-use of his data which would be detrimental to his own interests or to his exploitation.
Question 2. How can the establishment of the Digital Council address the numerous barriers to adoption of these technologies?
- Be accessible:
Accessibility to digital technologies must be ensured, not only for women and young people, but also for " elders " who are often the first victims of the digital divide. A more appropriate approach would be to find a formula for any social group that is marginalized or left behind as a result of a technological transformation. The fact that young people access technology faster than their elders has a strong implication in terms of disrupting knowledge transmission processes, which in turn has a strong impact on social coherence.
Question 3: Do you think that the roles identified for the Digital Council are suitable for facing the food systems challenges outlined above?
An additional third role could be added to monitor and evaluate the role and impact of digital technologies on sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs.
Question 4. What governance structure should be in place in order for the Council to serve its purpose? Do you think the proposed governance scenario is politically feasible?
Just a few questions for clarification.
In the Executive Council, what must be understood by " a balanced representation of critical mid- to senior-level voices "?
Details on the number of members and composition of the secretariat are lacking.
Agricultural and Food Security Advisor
I think there are at least two kinds of digital agriculture. One is on value chain, linking farmers to other value-chain actors and markets by providing information on prices as well as location and demand/preference of actors/potential buyers. Under this category, we can put giving farmers access to formal finance programmes/institutions through mobile phones.
Another type deals with information more related to production itself. While weather forecast based on the latest meteorology and climatology is of great use to the farmers, it should not replace their ability to observe the fields and their surroundings and to deduce weather, climate and the state of the environment (e.g., soil moisture, temperature) from observations. We should encourage complementarity between (digital) technology/science and farmers’ on-the-ground knowledge, just as western science and indigenous knowledge have drawn benefits from each other. Citizen monitoring of the environment has been noted for its financial and technical effectiveness, but also for raising awareness and instilling sense of responsibility. It could be said that farmers’ involvement in observing, recording and sharing information on the environment is a type of citizen monitoring.
We should also ensure farmers’ involvement in development of digital information, which would boost usefulness to the end users, i.e., farmers, and their interest in the products. Given that the youth are very much adept at ICT and that IT related jobs are considered attractive by them, digital agriculture provides a means for keeping the youth in rural areas. In remote areas, where the technicians in charge of meteorological stations cannot visit often, involving farmers in weather station installation and other related information sharing could well lead to farmers’ acting as guardians of the stations. With proper training, they may be able to conduct simple repair, which can also be of interest to the youth.
The related issues of infrastructure and education are often mentioned, but we should also consider the increases in energy demand (and also water, in case fossil fuel continues to be used) that would be required to support any digital system.
Sustainable Agricultural Digitization in Rural Nigeria: A Call for Infrastructural Development
Author: Oladele I. Osanyinlusi
The agrifood sector remains critical for livelihoods and employment as there are more than 570 million smallholder farms worldwide (Lowder et al., 2016) and agriculture and food production accounts for 28% of the entire global workforce (ILOSTAT, 2019). Historically, agriculture has undergone a series of revolutions that have driven efficiency, yield and profitability to previously unattainable levels (Trendov et al., 2019). In relation to the Sustainable Development Goals, digital agriculture has the potential to deliver economic benefits via increased agricultural productivity, cost efficiency and market opportunities, social and cultural benefits through increased communication and inclusivity and environmental benefits through optimized resource use (Trendov et al., 2019).
However, one of the global and agricultural sector challenges is meeting global food demand which comes partly as a result of increased population growth (Trendov et al., 2019; UNDESA, 2019; UNDESA, 2017). Much of this growth rate has come from the developing countries. The market forecasts for the next decade suggest a ‘digital agricultural revolution’ will be the newest shift which could help ensure agriculture meets the needs of the global population into the future (Trendov et al., 2019). Digitizing agriculture is essentially the use of digital technologies, innovations, and data to transform business models and practices across the agricultural value chain and address impediments in productivity, post-harvest handling, market access, finance, and supply chain management to achieve greater income for smallholder farmers, improve food and nutrition security, build climate resilience and expand inclusion of youth and women.
The introduction of digital technologies such as mobile phones and internet has significantly affected sectors of economy including agricultural sector (Deichmann et al., 2016). This digitalization will change every part of the agrifood chain. This new shift will be largely data driven and which would make farmers more adaptable to climate change and make their farming activities more profitable, ensure greater food security, and sustainability (Trendov et al., 2019). Digital technologies are creating new opportunities to integrate smallholders in a digitally-driven agrifood system (USAID, 2018).
Trendov et al. (2019) explained two conditions to driving digital transformation particularly in developing countries. Factors such as availability, connectivity, affordability, ICT in education and supportive policies and programmes are the basic conditions, which are the minimum conditions required to use technology. The second condition is enabling condition called enablers, which are factors that further facilitate the adoption of technologies such as use of internet, mobile phones and social media, digital skills and support for agripreneurial and innovation culture (e.g. talent development). Having access to digital technology has been established to offer significant advantages to smallholder farmers and other rural business by providing links to suppliers and information such as support services like training, finance, and critically reach market and customers (Trendov et al., 2019).
Precision Agriculture (PA) is one form of digitizing agriculture which comprises these improved management technologies such as soil sensing and mapping, yield monitoring and mapping, satellite-based positioning, remote sensing, field and crop scouting, geographical information systems (GIS), variable rate application, and automatic steering (Ess and Morgan, 2003; Rains & Thomas, 2009; Say et al., 2017). It has better management practices resulting in more precision in agricultural operations from tillage to harvesting to reduce inputs, increase profits, and protect environment (Say et al., 2017). Say et al. (2017) compared adoption rate of precision agriculture technologies between developed and developing countries and found that adoption of PA is an increasing trend in some of these countries but more with developed countries. The major factor identified driving PA adoption is farm size and it was stated countries with bigger farm such as US, Australia, Brazil, etc. are more likely to adopt these precision technologies in a bigger margin (Say et al., 2017).
The next period of growth in mobile connections is expected to come mainly from rural communities (Trendov et al., 2019). It is no gainsaying that digital technologies today are changing many aspects of life in both developed and developing countries. World Bank (2016) reported that even among the poorest 20% in developing countries, 70% have access to mobile phones. This is more than the access to other basic infrastructures such as electricity in rural homes (Deichmann et al., 2016). In addition, more than 40% of the global population has internet access. However, majority yet to be connected reside in rural areas (Deichmann et al., 2016). Though globally, the introduction of digital technologies in rural areas or remote rural communities where poverty rates are often high can be challenging due to lack of infrastructure including basic IT infrastructure (Trendov et al., 2019), the factors such as infrastructure, e-literacy, networks, power supply, and economies of scale could drive digitization more in developing countries (Trendov et al., 2019).
Digitization’s impact is however not uniform across economies in different stages of development. It has a greater impact on economic growth in developed economies than in developing ones. It has been established that there are significant disparities between the developed and developing countries in respect to the adoption of digital agriculture technologies (Trendov et al., 2019; Say et al., 2017). These disparities have also been extended to global companies and companies at a local, community, and family scale (Trendov et al., 2019). The small farmers in rural areas are disproportionately disadvantaged as well as facing problems of limited access to infrastructure, networks and technology (Trendov et al., 2019).
In emerging economies and rural areas, weak technological infrastructure, high costs of technology, low levels of e-literacy and digital skills, weak regulatory framework and limited access to services mean these areas risk being left behind in the digitalization process (Trendov et al., 2019). Because transformative digital innovations are often not designed for the scale at which smallholder farmers operate, it therefore puts them at disadvantage (Trendov et al., 2019). Yet, developing economies may also have the advantage of being able to ‘leapfrog’ older agrifood technologies and models in favour of a digital agriculture revolution (Trendov et al., 2019). This will call for a new approach by policy makers, international organisations, business leaders and individuals.
The advent of mobile phones and computers have revolutionized how people access knowledge and information, do business and use services. Yet there remain significant digital divides both within and between countries (Trendov et al., 2019; European Parliament, 2015b). The digital divide between the urban and rural areas came because the urban centres have better developed digital ecosystem (resources, skills, networks) than rural centres. Thus, making rural population where the farmers are concentrated falls behind in the process of a digital transformation (Trendov et al., 2019).
The benefits of digitized agricultural technologies cannot be downplayed. They promote greater inclusion in the broader economy, raise efficiency by complementing other production factors, and foster innovation by dramatically reducing transaction costs (Deichmann et al., 2016). Digital technologies overcome information problems that hinder market access for many small-scale farmers, increase knowledge through new ways of providing extension services, and they provide novel ways for improving agricultural supply chain management (Deichmann et al., 2016). However, they asserted that digital technologies are often not scaled up to the extent expected and they can only some of the barriers faced farmers in poorer countries.
The introduction of digital agriculture to Nigerian agriculture and food sector where farming stays mainly at the subsistence or smallholder level has the capacity to eliminate inefficiencies in her farming system. According to Trendov et al. (2019), in the agriculture and food sector, the spread of mobile technologies, remote-sensing services and distributed computing are already improving smallholders’ access to information, inputs, market, finance and training in developing countries. Although the Nigerian government is prioritizing diversifying its economy through agriculture, mining and industry, the investment in agricultural sector is still not digital based; indicating a lack of government support and regulatory frameworks for digital transformation (Trendov et al., 2019).
The factors such as power supply, IT infrastructure, e-literacy, among others as indicated by Trendov et al. (2019) that could drive agricultural digitization are grossly deficient in Nigerian economy more critically, in the rural sector. Even when the IT infrastructures are available, the issue of epileptic power supply as being currently experienced would not make them to fully benefit from it. This is a reflection of poor investments and neglect in these areas by the Nigerian government. In addition, the data on digital agriculture in the country particularly on rural and urban sectors are still grossly unavailable. Another limiting situation of ensuring most of the smallholder farmers in rural Nigeria enjoy the benefits of digital agriculture is the e-illiteracy factors since majority of the farmers are ageing. Those who use mobile phones primarily use them for making calls. In addition, the mobile phones might not be internet connectible which could limit their access to market and innovations thereby impeding food security. It is therefore necessary for all government and private sectors to encourage youth involvement in agriculture by giving out incentives in order to eliminate e-illiteracy and to take full benefits of digital agriculture. Investments in infrastructural development are additionally critical to the success and sustenance of digital agriculture in Nigeria in order to close the digital divides. Achieving food security and productivity would remain a mirage in Nigeria if these critical factors are not put in place.
Deichmann, U., Goyal, A. and Mishra, D. (2016). Will digital technologies transform agriculture in developing countries? International Association Agricultural Economics 47 (2016) supplement 21–33.
Ess, D. and Morgan, M. (2003). The Precision-Farming Guide for Agriculturists. Deere & Company, Moline, Illinois. 138 pp.
European Parliament (2015b). ICT in the developing world. Brussels: European Parliamentary Research Service.
ILOSTAT (2019). Employment database. Geneva: International Labour Organization.
Lowder, S. K., Skoet, J. and Raney, T. (2016). The number, size and distribution of farms, smallholder farms, and family farms worldwide. World Development. (86): 16–29.
Rains, C. R. and Thomas, D. L. (2009). Precision farming: An introduction. The University of Georgia. Bulletin 1186. Rev. March 2009. 12 pp.
Say, S. M., Keskin, M., Sehri, M. and Sekerli, Y. M. (2017). Adoption of Precision Agriculture Technologies in Developed and Developing Countries.
Trendov, N. M., Varas, S. and Zeng, M. (2019). Digital Technologies in Agriculture and Rural Areas. Briefing Paper, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome, 2019.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) (2019). Population, surface area and density. New York: UN DESA.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) (2017). World Population Prospects: Key findings and advance tables. New York: UN DESA.
World Bank (2016). World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends, World Bank, Washington, D.C.
I refer to the online consultation regarding the establishment of an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture and I am pleased to send you herewith attached the official comments of Hungary.
We wish you a fruitful work.
I am pleased to provide Australia’s input to the online discussion, attached.
We look forward to ongoing engagement on this matter.
Mr. Eugene Bortey
Digital farming experience in Ghana
Most of district agricultural director are interested in the technology but have to educate them first then we educate extension officers and also interested farmers from extension officers request.
Education outreach should meet all the stakeholders on one platform.
Issues about cost, configuration of devices for end users to costly because of depreciation of the local currency making it more expensive to end users only government support farm project can use service but it's advantages can extended to peasant farmers also.
Issues about data protection, we have to source third party cloud services companies which we believe local data should be protected unless there and inform concern to other users, and internationally recognised cost should be payable if agreement of the two parties is agreed.
Mr. Aftab Khan
QUESTION 1. WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL ENTRY POINTS FOR GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS CHALLENGES AND FOSTER THE DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL AGRICULTURE?
Lack of computer literacy for field staff in many poor countries would be a barrier. Therefore, computer literacy needs to be strengthened through rigorous trainings.
Women related Data : Chronic Gender inequality in policies, programs and social norms keep women contribution hidden as their data is often not included in surveys. Although global reports have started including data on women, it is hard to find detailed data in field level and national reports in majority of poor countries. Therefore, women should be included in data collection teams to ensure their crucial data is all inclusive.
QUESTION 2. HOW CAN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DIGITAL COUNCIL ADDRESS THE NUMEROUS BARRIERS TO ADOPTION OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES?
The council should be equipped with sufficient financial resources to fund capacity building and infrastructure support for poor countries.
QUESTION 3: DO YOU THINK THAT THE ROLES IDENTIFIED FOR THE DIGITAL COUNCIL ARE SUITABLE FOR FACING THE FOOD SYSTEMS CHALLENGES OUTLINED ABOVE?
It is important to add role of Digital Council in emergencies and humanitarian situation. It should provide immediate real time information and analysis that can save lives of millions of peoples in emergencies
QUESTION 4. WHAT GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE SHOULD BE IN PLACE IN ORDER FOR THE COUNCIL TO SERVE ITS PURPOSE? ACCORDING TO YOU, DO YOU THINK THE PROPOSED GOVERNANCE SCENARIO IS POLITICALLY FEASIBLE?
- DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS IN TERMS OF THE KEY ELEMENTS TO MAKE THE GOVERNANCE SCENARIO MORE EFFECTIVE? - APART FROM THIS MODEL, DO YOU HAVE OTHER PREFERRED MODELS?
In the Executive Council, heartening to note representatives from government institutions , the private sector, academia/research, donors providing financing in support of the council, and members from civil society. Nevertheless, since women and men farmers are the weakest of all the stakeholders their representation should be included in the executive council. Women leadership in the executive council will also contribute to address gender inequality.
It is crucial to have units in the council that will connect with national digital councils.
- APART FROM THIS MODEL, DO YOU HAVE OTHER PREFERRED MODELS?
It would be useful to add regional units of the council. For instance regional units of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, North America can promote regional cooperation on digitalization.