Offering information technologies tailored to developing world farmers


Photo credit: FAO

The ubiquitous cellphone can connect farmers to a range of information and tools.

More support to family farmers needed to meet world’s rising food demands, FAO tells G20

FAO Director-General calls for information technologies tailored to developing world farmers at ministerial meeting

In an era in which challenges like climate change and natural resource scarcity are making agriculture ever more knowledge-intensive, family farmers in the developing world need information and technology tools that can help them not just get by, but thrive and feed a growing world population, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

“Millions of small family farmers need technical and financial assistance to be more resilient and adapt to the impacts of climate change. They must be able to stay on their land, produce their own food and also have access to markets,” he said in remarks at the G20 agricultural ministers meeting here today.

The FAO Director-General argued that the world’s rural areas will be the key battleground in the push to achieve the 2030 sustainable development agenda, since it is there that poverty and hunger are most concentrated.

At the same time, most of the increases in agricultural yields required to feed a world population set to surpass 9 billion by 2050 will have to take place in these same regions, and will greatly depend on small family farmers, according to FAO studies.

“Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can have a profound impact on the efficiency, resilience and inclusion of poor family farmers,” Graziano da Silva said.

This is why FAO is pushing ahead with a digital strategy that aims to support the world’s most vulnerable through knowledge sharing and bottom-up learning.

Read the full article: FAO

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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

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