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Using artificial intelligence to assess FAO’s knowledge base on the technology accelerator









FAO. 2023. Using artificial intelligence to assess FAO’s knowledge base on the technology accelerator. Rome.




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    Making food systems more resilient to food safety risks by including artificial intelligence, big data, and internet of things into food safety early warning and emerging risk identification tools 2024
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    To enhance the resilience of food systems to food safety risks, it is vitally important for national authorities and international organizations to be able to identify early signals of emerging food safety risks and to provide early warning in a timely manner. This review provides an overview of existing and experimental applications of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and internet of things tools and methods as part of early warning and emerging risk identification in the food safety domain. There is an ongoing rapid development of systems fed by numerous, real-time, and diverse data with the aim of early warning and identification of emerging food safety risks. The suitability of big data and AI to support such systems is illustrated by two cases in which climate change drives the emergence of risks, namely, harmful algal blooms affecting seafood and fungal growth and mycotoxin formation in crops. Automation and machine learning are crucial for the development of future real-time food safety risk early warning systems. Although these developments and tools increase the feasibility and effectiveness of prospective early warning and emerging risk identification, their implementation may prove challenging, particularly for low- and middle-income countries due to low connectivity and data availability. It is advocated to overcome these challenges by improving the capability and capacity of national authorities, as well as by enhancing their collaboration with the private sector and international organizations.
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    Synthesis of evaluations of FAO’s contributions in the Africa Region (2019–2021) 2022
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    This report is a synthesis of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Office of Evaluation (OED) on evaluations completed from 2019 to 2021 on FAO’s work in the Africa region. It documents FAO’s contribution to results, identifies gaps and emerging issues and lessons learned. The synthesis is organized around the themes of sustainable production and value chain development, food security and nutrition, climate change and natural resources, resilience to threats and crises, and gender equality and empowerment of women. The synthesis used the Programme Priority Areas of the Strategic Framework 2022–2031 to analyse FAO’s contribution to results, finding many positive examples in the Africa region. However, the sustainability of results is a challenge for the region, due to several factors, including capacity constraints of government partners and limitations of FAO project designs. Gaps and emerging issues include the need for guidance on ‘accelerators’ of results, addressing youth as a key priority and new approaches to partnerships with civil society and the private sector. Lessons learned include the importance of good project design, suitably capacitated decentralized offices, effective knowledge management and strategic and inclusive partnerships to achieve results.
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    FAO Science and Innovation Strategy 2022
    The Strategy aims to strengthen FAO’s work on science and innovation by providing Organizationwide guidance, coherence and alignment on science and innovation. Science and innovation serve as a foundation for the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31 and have cross-sectoral relevance across the Organization’s programme of work. Innovation and technology are two of the four accelerators of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31 intended to speed up progress and maximize efforts in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, science underpins all four accelerators (technology, innovation, data, and complements [governance, human capital, and institutions]). As such, science and innovation are integrated throughout the 20 Programme Priority Areas (PPAs), the accelerators, and cross-cutting themes. The vision of the Strategy is a world free from hunger and malnutrition, where the potential of science and innovation is fully leveraged to overcome complex social, economic and environmental challenges of agrifood systems in a globally equitable, inclusive and sustainable manner. The goal is for Members to harness science and innovation to realize context-specific and systemic solutions for MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind, in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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