Science, Technology and Innovation

Levelling the playing field:  Eliminating inequalities in accessing science, technology and innovation across value chains

When: 21 October 2022 | 9:00 – 10:45 hrs (CEST)

Where: FAO Plenary Hall

Modality: Hybrid


Smallholder farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly those headed by women, face huge challenges in accessing appropriate scientific knowledge and technologies.  If we are to transform agriculture and food systems and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the playing field has to be leveled and the availability, affordability and relevancy of services and technologies have to be addressed particularly for poorest and most marginalized in society. The development and use of technologies, innovation and information are constrained by both supply and demand and the lack of adequate linkages between them. At the supply end, lack of investment and technical capacity, coupled with complex and irrelevant information, completely overlook the demand perspective. At the demand end, small scale farmers are often not involved in the co-creation of knowledge, leading to information that does not recognize farmer know-how and is often neither affordable, understandable nor actionable. This leads to a large number of smallholder farmers worldwide, especially women, lacking awareness that technologies, innovations and information are even available. The session will highlight the barriers for accessing technologies, innovation and information services and present the ways and means to eliminate inequalities. The session will see the “launch of the Accelerator Mentorship Programme for Women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa”. 

The session will be interpreted in all UN languages, online through Airmeet platform, UN web TV and webcast.


09:00 – 09:05

Moderator’s introduction  

Thin Lei Win 


Opening Remarks

HE Gabriel Ferrero de Loma-Osorio 
UN Committee on World Food Security 
Chairperson & Ambassador at Large for Global Food Security

09:10 – 09:55


















Moderated panel discussion

Thin Lei Win

Emmanuel Charles
Minister Counsellor, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. Ambassade de la République d'Haïti
Rome, Italy  

Amit Roy 
Vice-Chair Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA)
Derwood, USA 

Nitya Rao  
Director, Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development
School of International Development , University of East Anglia
Norwich, UK 

Oluyemisi Iranloye 
Managing Director & CEO Psaltry International Company Limited 

Ruramiso Mashumba 
Chief Executive Officer
Mnandi Africa 

09:55 – 10:10

Q&A Session

















Launch event of the FAO-IAFN Accelerator Mentorship Programme for Women-led SMEs in Africa 

Alexander Jones, PSR Director 

Beth Bechdol
Deputy Director General, FAO  

Robynne Anderson
Director General, International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) 

Abebe Haile Gabriel 
Assistant Director General, Regional Representative for Africa, FAO  

Fatou Manneh 
Founder of Jelmah Herbella(one of the selected Mentees of the Accelerator Mentorship programme) 

10:40 – 10:45 

Summary of key messages and recommendations 

Beth Bechdol
Deputy Director General, FAO