DIGITAL IN ACTION – Agrifood Systems Transformation for SDGs Achievement
A wide range of approaches, technologies and practices exist to tackle agrifood systems challenges. Science, technology and innovation underpin them all and are an essential part of assessing risks, identifying trade-offs and finding new solutions to the complex problems that our world is currently facing with the updated negative projections indicating that more than 670 million people will still be facing hunger in 2030.
In this challenging context, and with only 7 years to achieve the original goals of the Agenda 2030, digitalization and use of data in agriculture and AI have an essential role to play to support evidence-based policy, planning and implementation to improve efficiency in agricultural resources management.
Digital technologies’ influence is felt in many areas including the improved access to information and markets for farmers, new innovative financial services, traceability of food, digitized e-Voucher and cash-based transfer schemes, and the exploitation of geospatial and big data technologies to gain an ever more detailed and accurate understanding of the world around us. The imperative to build back better by leveraging digital innovations in the agrifood systems calls thus for new actions and concrete results.
As the landscape of science, technology and innovation is changing rapidly with amplification of digital tools, big data, and artificial intelligence, public-private partnerships are also on the rise. The importance of the participation of a wide range of actors in agricultural innovation systems is increasingly recognized to co-create knowledge and strengthen capacities. To better progress along this path and bring the benefits of digital innovation closer to the people, further promotion and enhanced collaboration is needed throughout the UN system and with all relevant stakeholders including the private sector.
The FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 recognizes that digitalization across agrifood systems is key to achieve the SDGs. Digitalization, as a cross cutting Accelerator for Development, is a priority for FAO and full advantage of the transformative capabilities and opportunities brought by digital technologies must be taken to deliver on this vision to achieve the SDGs and FAO international commitments at the broadest level, embedding Digital as a component to common efforts and policies for agrifood systems, as it is the enabling tool that can bridge us all towards development, leaving no one behind.
Taking advantage of the unique potential of WSIS as a global multi-stakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing sustainable development, the event aims to bring forward discussions on key topics about Digital in Action for the Transformation of Agrifood Systems, through concrete solutions and examples of Digital capabilities as accelerators to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including FAO Digital Village Initiative , the Hand-in-Hand Initiative and its enabling tool, the Geospatial Platform. It aims at creating synergies enabling environment (e.g. policies, regulations, infrastructure, organizations, and socio-cultural changes) conducive to an inclusive and sustainable digitalization in agrifood systems and build back better in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.