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Digital excellence in agriculture in Europe and Central Asia

Good practices in the field of digital agriculture - Stocktaking report










ITU and FAO. 2021. Digital excellence in agriculture in Europe and Central Asia: Good practices in the field of digital agriculture - Stocktaking report. Geneva, Switzerland.




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    Book (stand-alone)
    Digital excellence in agriculture report
    FAO-ITU Regional contest on good practices advancing digital agriculture in Europe and Central Asia
    2023
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    This report is the outcome of the Digital Excellence in Agriculture: FAO-ITU regional contest on good practices advancing digital agriculture in Europe and Central Asia, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Office for Europe and Central Asia and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Offices for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Launched in November 2020, the contest sought to identify, showcase and celebrate good practices and innovative solutions that have proven successful in advancing the digital transformation of agriculture in the regions. With nearly 200 applicants from 36 countries in the regions, the initiative revealed a diverse, dynamic and future-thinking ecosystem of innovators and problem-solvers. This report summarizes the main trends in digital services and products, the most important technologies used, as well as the difficulties and challenges that arise in the development of digital agricultural applications. Presenting the 29 finalists, the report shares the key challenges applicants are addressing, the digital technologies they are using to succeed, their journeys and their plans for the near future based on the information provided. The report also analyses how the technology infrastructure, the regulatory and business environment, the availability of human capital, and the COVID-19 pandemic represented both challenges and opportunities for digital agriculture practitioners. It provides useful information for developers and service providers already active in this field or planning to enter it, as well as guidance for decision-makers on possible points of intervention.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Digitalization of the food control system to measure food safety in Georgia 2024
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    Effective data collection during food control procedures by the public authorities is essential to ensure food safety and compliance with regulations. Using modern technology plays a vital role in acquiring information from food businesses, food control inspections, and other food control actions. Digital systems allow real-time assessment of the current food safety compliance levels, permit establishing baselines and trend analyses, and enable targeted actions as a response to the food control results. A well-functioning digital system can provide results from several food safety aspects, pointing out where there is room for improvement giving the food control authority tools to strive for better effectiveness of food control and food safety. Georgia, a country that earlier applied mainly a non-digital environment to collect and analyze food control data, has developed a digital system to modernize data acquisition in recent years. Until 2017 the National Food Agency received food control results from the regions on spreadsheets and text files. The collection of the data from the files was ineffective, cumbersome, and prone to mistakes. Authorities experienced problems in receiving timely data throughout the food chain including information on registrations of food businesses, inspection results, and any other relevant food safety data. This impaired the understanding of the food safety situation in Georgia and the development of food control. The new system, which has been in use since 2017 in the capital and since then expanded to the whole country. It contains up-to-date food safety data on food businesses and compliance. Georgia is further developing the digital system to include more information from the food chain, which will permit comprehensive analyses of the food safety state and food control effectiveness. This document was developed within the framework of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and the University of Helsinki collaboration on the “Call for collecting good practices in improving food safety management”, launched in June 2022. This call aimed to empower organizations to showcase innovative solutions and good practices to improve specific aspects of food safety management in Europe and Central Asia. It facilitates experience sharing and co-learning amongst the Member countries in the region. Five good practices were identified under three categories:  i) Measuring the effectiveness of food control; ii) Solutions to support small-scale producers to comply with food safety requirements; iii)  Use of digital solutions to improve food safety management.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Status of Implementation of e-Agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia - Insights from selected countries in Europe and Central Asia 2018
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    Agriculture is becoming increasingly knowledge intensive: farmers have to make more and more complex decisions on the use of their land, the selection of the agricultural commodities they plant, the choice of markets on which to sell their agricultural products and other key decisions that impact their livelihoods and that of society. The development of ICTs is a major driver of economic growth. It is also an accelerator for innovation and change. FAO has been promoting the use of ICTs in agriculture and has focused on ICT innovation in improving agricultural production and value chains. However, innovation is an elusive combination of people, processes and technologies. Many projects put technology alone at the core of proposed solutions intended to address emerging and existing challenges, but this is not a sustainable solution in many cases. Recently, FAO and the International Telecommunication Union, have jointly prepared a National e-Agriculture Strategy Guide which aims to help countries mainstream ICTs into agriculture and develop or revitalize e-agriculture strategies in line with agricultural goals and priorities. This paper is intended to assist policy-makers and stakeholders of e-agriculture in transition economies to map the policy and technological environment in their countries, would show case e-agriculture initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia and provide with recommendations on formulation of e-agriculture strategies.

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