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APRC/20/INF/11 - The Digitalization of Food and Agriculture (APRC 35)

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    Leveraging innovation and technology for food and agriculture in Asia and the Pacific 2020
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    This brochure highlights some of the many and varied types of innovations that are making success steps towards the SDGs. Agriculture needs to be profitable for smallholders, and access to online and physical markets and the incorporation of good practices, standards and infrastructure are critical for regional and international trade. Innovation, therefore, is central to achieving this multidimensional change.
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    Scaling up inclusive digitalization in agricultural value chains
    Thirty-sixth Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC 36)
    In Asia and the Pacific, digital transformation occurs at all stages of the value chains, from food production to consumption. The ongoing food e-commerce revolution is happening at the same time that mobile-based business models are emerging to provide advisory, marketing and financial services at scale to smallholder farmers. A parallel revolution in Industry 4.0 technologies is taking agro-industries to new levels of efficiency. Digitalization offers great potential for improving the efficiency and sustainability of value chains, and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2 and 13 (No Poverty, Zero Hunger and Climate Action). There are, however, several risks associated with digitalization, from potential job losses to environmental degradation and data governance concerns. Different value chains, and actors within them, digitalize at varying speeds and would therefore require tailored digitalization strategies to leave no one behind. Policymakers in the region need to facilitate the scaling up of digital innovations along agricultural value chains in an inclusive and sustainable manner, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members are invited to provide guidance on how FAO can best support them in fostering the inclusive digitalization of agricultural and food value chains.

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