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Report

2023

Sustainable agricultural mechanization in China. A comprehensive review

Sustainable agricultural mechanization covers all levels of farming and processing technologies, and takes into consideration technological, economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects when contributing to the sustainable development of agrifood systems. This publication strives to comprehensively and systematically summarize the status and strategies of China's agricultural mechanization development, its impacts, experiences and practices, and business models. Furthermore, the publication investigates the related investment and policy recommendations to reach the goal of agricultural and rural modernization by 2035, to drive smallholder farmers to enter modern agriculture, and to achieve sustainable development. It is estimated that by 2035, agricultural production in China will [...]

Case study

2022

Leveraging automation and digitalization for precision agriculture: Evidence from the case studies. Background paper for The State of Food and Agriculture 2022

Digital and automation solutions for precision agriculture can improve efficiency, productivity, product quality and sustainability. Nevertheless, barriers to adoption of such solutions – including their cost, lack of knowledge and skills, and the absence of an enabling environment and infrastructure – can prevent producers from realizing these benefits.Building on findings from 22 case studies worldwide, this study finds that national data policies and infrastructure are key enablers of adoption, as is investment in connectivity (e.g. internet) and electricity in rural areas. Further research and information on the economic, environmental and social impacts of the solutions are also needed to provide [...]

Case study

2022

Agricultural digitalization and automation in low- and middle-income countries: Evidence from ten case studies. Background paper for The State of Food and Agriculture 2022

Digital and automation solutions can solve labour bottlenecks, increase agricultural productivity, resilience and efficiency, and improve environmental sustainability. However, access is limited in low- and lower-middle-income countries, especially for small-scale producers. Based on ten case studies in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia, this study investigates the suitability of digital and automation solutions for small-scale producers, the main drivers and barriers to their adoption and the role of policies and regulations in creating an enabling environment.Findings show that technologies in the study countries are largely limited to smartphones and tablets, and related software tools (e.g. mobile applications). Most digital and automation solutions [...]

Issue paper

2022

Digital transformation and land administration. Sustainable practices from the UNECE region and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of land administration. Online services were embraced. Working at distance became the new normal. Spatial and other information on tenure rights found new users and increased demand. This publication shares how land administration organizations responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most cases are drawn from the UNECE region, however, a broader perspective is also provided. The disrupted era that land administration systems must now operate within is revealed. The pressing demand for digital transformation is shown. Digital transformation ensures ongoing system sustainability and responsiveness to changing societal demands. The publication also exposes the [...]

Report

2022

The State of Food and Agriculture 2020

Automation has been shaping world agriculture since the early twentieth century. Motorized mechanization has brought significant benefits in terms of improved productivity, reduced drudgery and more efficient allocation of labour, but also some negative environmental impacts. More recently, a new generation of digital agricultural automation technologies has appeared, with the potential to further enhance productivity, as well as resilience, while also addressing the environmental sustainability challenges driven by past mechanization.The State of Food and Agriculture 2022 looks into the drivers of agricultural automation, including the more recent digital technologies. Based on 27 case studies, the report analyses the business case [...]

Briefs

2022

Gene editing in aquaculture

The document is a brief of a specific aquaculture innovation. It contains information on the technique and approach used, scope and scale of application, accessibility and the outcome and benefits of the innovation.Gene editing holds significant potential to enhance selective breeding. While selective breeding has been successful, it is limited by the heritability of the trait. Gene editing also prevents interbreeding with wild fish should they escape from a farm and offers the potential for improved growth rates. Current studies into gene-editing cover a wide range of aquatic species – including various salmonids, rohu, grass carp, common carp, channel catfish, [...]

Case study

2022

Digital agriculture in action. Selected case studies from India

Agriculture is becoming more knowledge-intensive. Access to timely, accurate information tailored to specific locations and conditions is critical to helping farmers make the most of their resources in changing circumstances. Digital technologies help overcome these challenges by bridging the information gap, improving access to market information, enhancing access to micro-finance, providing actionable advisories on managing pest and disease as well as improving agriculture human capital. However, sustaining digital interventions needs a holistic approach that includes the right policies, frameworks, ecosystem and capacities. This publication highlights some successful initiatives in leveraging digital technologies, improving value-chain processes and building capacity to bring about [...]

Issue paper

2022

Agricultural trade in the Global South. An overview of trends in performance, vulnerabilities, and policy frameworks

South-South Cooperation (SSC) is increasingly recognized as an effective instrument for catalyzing economic development by fostering the exchange of innovation and good practices, and expanding market opportunities across countries with a similar level of development and shared development objectives, such as those reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Key to this economic cooperation are trade and investment relationships among South countries. The importance of South countries in global agrifood markets and trade has been increasing over the last two decades, with growth in their participation, as both exporters and importers, having outpaced that of North countries. Agricultural productivity growth has [...]

Issue paper

2022

Genetically modified crops: Safety, benefits, risks and global status

Genetically modified (GM) crops are a new addition to crop varieties developed through traditional methods such as breeding, selection and mutation. Given their novelty, there are safety concerns among the public, scientists, and regulators, although the benefits outweigh the risks. Among the potential risks are pests becoming resistant, crops gaining weediness and GM foods posing safety issues to both human and animals and these are studied extensively. This has resulted in science-based risk assessment and management that safeguard safety to humans, animals and environment. We can be rest assured that GM crops that are approved are safe and continuous monitoring is [...]

Issue paper

2022

Ready to go digital? Assessing the digital readiness of young agripreneurs in East Africa

Food and Agricultural Organization’s Integrated Country Approach for boosting decent jobs for youth in agrifood systems carried out a digital readiness assessment of youth in agribusiness in partnership with the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation and youth-led organizations in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.Over 360 young male and female entrepreneurs engaged through an online survey and virtual focus group discussions that generated insights on their interaction with digital technologies, either as entrepreneurs, service providers, or members of youth organizations.This summary note presents key findings on the following topics: agribusiness information flows, youth digital access and preferences, information technology use for business including [...]
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