South-South cooperation: Digital transformation and innovation in agriculture

FAO presented digital pilot to support family farming in Costa Rica

©FAO/ Valeria Navas


The representation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Costa Rica made the official presentation of the “Integrated pilot digitization and agroclimatic information system”, which will be implemented in the Guatuso canton, province of Alajuela. 

The pilot Initiative, promoted within the framework of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation project: Digital transformation and innovation in agriculture, aims to provide information on diagnosis, control and nutrition of agricultural crops, supporting the decision-making process of the producers benefiting from the project. For instance, they will have data on vigor, stress and possible diseases of their crops thanks to the use of digital tools and specialized equipment installed in the field.

The event took place in the rural settlement Tujankir 1, which is one of the sites selected to install the committed technological equipment. Representatives of the San Carlos Rural Electrification Cooperative (Coopelesca R.L), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), the Rural Development Institute (INDER) and the National Institute for Innovation and Transfer of Agricultural Technology (INTA) arrived there. All these institutions have been part of the coordinated work done by FAO to carry out the pilot.

“The sustainability of the actions we carry out is only possible with the coordinated work of different actors involved, because when we talk about digitalization, we are talking about generating income for families, providing access and opportunities for women and young people, improving livelihoods and this can only be achieved through joint actions and views”, explained Katalina Moyano, coordinator of the FAO-China-CELAC project.

The activity also included the valuable participation of Xu Tiefei, counselor to the Chinese embassy in Costa Rica, who referred to technology as a tool to transform the way agriculture is done.

“We hope that this project can help farmers to improve their production and reduce their climatic risks”, he highlighted. 

After the opening remarks, guests took a walk through the plot where the operation of the “Integrated pilot digitization and agroclimatic information system” was explained in detail. In addition, attendees witnessed a test flight of one of the drones that will be used to collect information, being able to demonstrate a normalized vegetation index calculation.

Elías Jiménez, producer and beneficiary of the initiative, mentioned that he has high expectations about the project and its scope to improve decision-making to face the impact of climate change in his crops.

It is important to highlight that this project seeks to contribute to the “National Plan for the Improvement of Productivity and Sustainability of the Agricultural Sector” (also known as the “AGROINNOVATION 4.0 Program”) carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to promote economic recovery and employment generation after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ricardo Rivera

Communicator of the Regional Initiative 2

[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]