FAO and Korea Telecom team up to advance digital agricultural innovation

Partnership to focus on digital technologies for agrifood and engaging youth in smart farming and agribusiness

12 June 2019, Rome - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Korea Telecom (KT) today agreed to work together to create more opportunities for youth to engage in smart farming and other forms of agricultural innovation and entrepreneurship.

The agreement was signed by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and KT Chief Executive Officer Chang-Gyu Hwang at a ceremony on the side-lines of FAO's inaugural International Seminar on Digital Agriculture Transformation. The two-day  event brings together several hundred participants, including government ministers, representatives of civil society and the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other industry leaders.

Through their partnership, FAO and KT aim to promote the use of technologies and innovations in development processes and value chains linked to agribusiness management and digital agriculture, and foster overall digital innovation and youth entrepreneurship in agrifood.

In particular, they will focus on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for youth practicing smart farming, which entails the use of innovative technologies to produce more and quality food and other agricultural products, such as fuel, fibre, textiles, seeds or feed.

As part of the agreement, FAO and KT will organize an annual Innovation Challenge/Hackathon to harness the use of digital technologies for sustainable agriculture development and to give young agripreneurs an opportunity to explore and test new, high-potential ideas for smart agriculture.

FAO and KT will also host an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp or masterclass offering youth educational and entrepreneurial programmes and activities in agribusiness and technological innovation.  

KT is providing new technologies and services based on 5G's ultra-high speed, ultra-low latency, and hyper connectivity, thereby creating socio-economic value for the public.

FAO assists its member countries in unlocking the potential of digital innovation to drive socio-economic growth, ensure food and nutrition security, alleviate poverty and improve resilience to climate change.
For example, FAO and its partners are working in nine pilot countries in Africa, Asia and Central America to bring international, national and local partners together to develop and implement capacity development plans for digital agriculture.

FAO is also supporting governments to develop strategies that foster a sustainable and inclusive ecosystem of developing digital agriculture through cooperation with small-scale enterprises, cooperatives and local organizations to ensure smallholder farmers benefit from the development of digital technologies economically, socially and environmentally.

Photo: ©FAO/Lekha Edirisinghe
Sri Lankan farmers using a FAO app to control Fall Armyworm infestations.