Investment in agricultural innovation needed to fight poverty and hunger

 

Photo credit: FAO

Telecommunication tools have the potential to provide Internet access for millions of people and connect farmers with digital agriculture.

FAO Director-General addresses agriculture during G20 summit

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In order to ensure that farmers fully leverage the ICT opportunities, it is essential to provide digital tailored access, foster capacity development and facilitate the exchange of experiences, FAO’s Graziano da Silva said. – http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/newsroom/photos/small_Kenya_FAO_Hug.jpg

Promoting sustainable agriculture requires a renewed focus on innovation and investment in research, technology and capacity development, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva said at a meeting of agriculture ministers of the G20 in China.

“ICT helps in the monitoring of crop growth, utilization of new techniques, field management and harvests,” the FAO Director-General stressed, adding that it has also become an essential tool for improving people’s livelihoods and welfare while advancing social justice and ensure equal access to opportunities, particularly in rural areas.

Telecommunication tools have the potential to provide Internet access for millions of people and connect farmers with digital agriculture. This includes the use of mobile phones to report animal disease outbreaks, which is one area FAO has been supporting in recent years.

Among the innovative ways FAO is using ICT, Graziano da Silva highlighted a new partnership with Google, whose satellite data and processing power will usher in an unprecedented level of environmental literacy, especially on forestry and fisheries, he said.

The partnership is part of a larger digital strategy FAO is developing  to integrate a wide range of technologies, ranging from satellite data to mobile phones and social platforms, with the agency’s work to support the most vulnerable with access to information and bottom-up learning.

Read the full story: FAO

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.