FAO Urges Stakeholders to Develop Precision Agriculture Capabilities for Family Farmers
Digital agriculture has the potential to deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits and, if promoted in an inclusive manner, it can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today in as statement.
“Information and communications technology has the potential to reshape not only the way we work in agriculture but also our food systems, the way we will eat in the future,” he said.
Digital innovation is also linked to emerging precision agriculture capacities, which allow for farmers to reduce their use of chemical inputs, machinery and water for irrigation, he said, noting that climate change and natural resource constraints require new approaches to provide food security and adequate nutrition for all.
The FAO chief consequently called for a “gradual” shift” away from a reliance on Green Revolution techniques. “The future of agriculture is not input-intensive but technology-intensive,” he said in his introduction to FAO’s inaugural International Seminar on Digital Agriculture Transformation.
Last year, FAO also hosted the First International Symposium on Innovation for Family Farmers, which concluded that inclusiveness is an essential requirement for technology to help eradicate hunger. Harnessing new tools, most linked to the Internet, requires addressing the digital divide between rich and poor, between the urban and rural, and between big and small farmers, the FAO Director-General said, noting concerns that emerging communication technologies might exclude small family farmers have been expressed since the 1980s.