The Global Network of Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs

Global: Reflecting on COP28: Unveiling Transformative Approaches in Climate-Resilient Agriculture


The Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs organized a collaborative event that took place on 12 December 2023 at COP28 in Dubai. Together with FAO Palestine, the Partnerships and UN Collaboration Division, and the Plant Production and Protection teams, the session held discussions on climate-resilient and sustainable policies and practices aimed at empowering women and young farmers, with a particular focus on the pivotal role of digital agriculture.

The lineup of speakers included Lamine Yata from the Ministry of Environment in Senegal, who brought insightful perspectives to the forefront with a focus on the gender and climate-sensitive farmer field schools, Yata talked about the innovative approaches and practices aimed at addressing the unique challenges faced by farmers in Senegal. Stephen Sherwood, connecting from Ecuador, shared his experience with farmer field schools situated in the Andes. His work is based on the preservation of traditional knowledge within the local farming community such as the plant biome, with a focus on sustainable agricultural practices in this unique ecosystem. 

Yamelakesira Tamene, the Director of Technology Development at Ethiopia's Environment Protection Authority (EPA), explored the intricate relationship between digitalization and climate change using concrete examples from Ethiopia's Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs. Emphasizing Ethiopia's proactive approach, she highlighted the 2011 launch of a climate resilience strategy, with a special focus on agriculture as a pivotal pillar for emission reduction, underscoring its potential for significant mitigation measures. Tamene elucidated the crucial role played by the hubs in enhancing agricultural productivity and managing climate risks, with tangible benefits including improved access to financial services for smallholder farmers and expanded opportunities for women in rural areas.

Marlize Grobbellar, representing the World Farmers Organization in South Africa, and Endika Landa from the World Rural Forum in Spain, shared their transformative journey from family farming traditions to navigating the contemporary challenges of sustaining their businesses.

The session reached its culmination with Srinivas Mangipudi from Visual Thinking, a professional with a background in science and art, visually encapsulating the event's essence through drawings. His illustrations highlighted crucial themes such as soil health, farmer-driven solutions, the repercussions of climate change on agriculture, and the paramount importance of sustainability.

As the session concluded, there was a collective acknowledgment of the diversity within the participant group, underlining the urgent need for collaboration between farmers and policymakers. Despite challenges and intricate negotiations surrounding the complex issue at hand, participants expressed optimism for fruitful global collaborations and the attainment of shared goals in advancing sustainable agriculture.