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Vision for the future: Transition to digital agriculture international conference






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    Realizing the Potential of Digitalization to Improve the Agrifood System – Proposing a New International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture - GCP/GLO/029/GER 2022
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    The global agrifood system faces considerable challenges in providing enough food of adequate quality to feed an ever growing, aging and migrating population. The world is also changing at a fast pace with the emergence of an array of technologies. Digital technologies offer unique opportunities to improve food production and trade, especially for smallholder farmers, and to help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The agrifood system has undergone changes that have increased efficiency and profitability, yet it lags behind in terms of digitalization, which could play an increasingly important role in achieving the global goal of improving food security and rural livelihoods. However, digitalization can also have significant drawbacks. It may increase digital divides across the system, cause workforce displacement or be misused, as can be the case with data protection, data ownership, privacy rights and cybersecurity. Digitalization can also make it harder for smallholder farmers as they struggle to compete with new technologies, making the digital divide even more pronounced. In response to the request from 74 Ministers of Agriculture at the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture (GFFA) 2019, a concept note for considering the establishment of an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture was prepared, and financially supported by Germany. The proposed role of the Digital Council, hereafter the International Platform for Digital Food and Agriculture, is to enhance international cooperation and the exchange of ideas and experiences across borders, creating synergies and avoiding the duplication of efforts. The International Platform for Digital Food and Agriculture will support the rapid development of the digitalization of agriculture by ensuring expertise in using new digital tools, providing structured and strategic agricultural policy recommendations on digitalization to governmental and non governmental actors, and strengthening international cooperation within the agrifood system to better confront challenges and develop plausible solutions.

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