South-South cooperation: Digital transformation and innovation in agriculture

FAO and technical experts from China visited Guyana to collaborate in the implementation of a digital pilot project


The team of the South-South Cooperation project: Digital transformation and innovation in agriculture and two technical experts from China traveled to Guyana to collaborate in the implementation of the digital project that seeks to support small farmers on Wakenaam Island in the monitoring and early detection of pests and diseases that may affect their rice crops.

The project, which is being carried out thanks to a coordinated effort between Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), is an opportunity for farmers who will benefit directly from the pilot to have better information to make decisions that allow them to increase the production of this cereal.

During the trip, the delegation, composed by Katalina Moyano, coordinator of the South-South Cooperation project, Milza López, monitoring and evaluation specialist, Haibo Zhu, rural digitalization expert and Guofu Feng, digital agriculture expert, met with representatives of the FAO office in Guyana and members of the GRDB, to exchange knowledge and contribute to the progress of the digital pilot, as well as plan future activities.

In the conversation, GRDB members highlighted that the project is a big step forward for the rice industry. In addition, the technical experts shared ideas based on Chinese experience in the rice cultivation and their knowledge of digital agriculture and e-commerce.

The team also visited the GRDB research station, located in the village of Burma, Region 5. There, the Chinese experts provided recommendations on issues such as mechanization of planting operation and existing varieties to improve productivity. In addition, agreements were established to strengthen the pilot project and maintain close collaboration with FAO within the framework of South-South Cooperation.

Finally, the delegation visited the Farmer Field Schools (FFS), located on Wakenaam and Windsor Forrest Islands, to talk with beneficiary farmers about the challenges they face in rice production. The team also presented the objectives of the project and the advantages they will have when using the information collected by the drones.

Start of training

After receiving the technological equipment committed to the South-South cooperation project: Digital transformation and innovation in agriculture, the first training sessions were carried out for the GRDB members who will be in charge of piloting and managing the information obtained by the drones.

This two-week training brought together extension officers from regions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, who received a theoretical explanation of the hardware of the unmanned aerial systems (maintenance, uses and flight planning) and practical classes on flight, emergency handling and data management.

The project also includes training for small farmers who benefit from the drones to take advantage of the data provided by the drones. In this way, farmers will be able to optimize pests, disease and irrigation management.


Ricardo Rivera

Communicator of the Regional Initiative Prosperous and inclusive rural societies

[email protected]

Catalina Acosta

Communication and management assistant for 1000 Digital Village in Latin America and the Caribbean and FAO- China-CELAC project

[email protected] 

Ricardo Rivera Communicator of the Regional Initiative 2 [email protected]

Catalina Acosta Torres Asistente en comunicación y gestión para Cooperación Sur-Sur FAO China CELAC. [email protected]