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Digital agriculture transformation seminar - Programme

The challenges to be addressed














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    Booklet
    Digital technologies in agriculture and rural areas
    Briefing paper
    2019
    Firstly, a significant challenge in understanding digital agricultural transformation is a lack of systematic, official data on the topic. Much of the data – for example on levels of e-literacy – are only available at the country level with no distinction for urban and rural areas. Meanwhile, data on networks focus only on coverage and do not provide information about the quality or affordability of services. There is also a lack of information about government support and regulatory frameworks for digital transformation; so far, this has been interpreted via proxies including the availability of government e-services and regulations about connectivity and data protection. A second consideration is that there are significant disparities in the adoption of digital agriculture technologies between developed and developing countries and between global companies and those at a local, community or family scale. Factors including financial resources and education levels influence the adoption of modern agricultural technologies. Small farmers in rural areas are disproportionately disadvantaged as well as facing problems of limited access to infrastructure, networks and technology. A final factor to consider is that digital agricultural technologies are affected by economies of scale. Adoption is easier for users who can implement them at large scale. Small-scale farmers face a disadvantage compared to large agribusiness actors. This creates disparity between large and small-scale farmers, with a corresponding inequality between developed and developing countries. Transformative digital innovations and technologies are often not designed for the scale at which smallholder farmers operate.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Digital technologies in agriculture and rural areas
    Status report
    2019
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    This report aims to identify the different scenarios where the process of digital transformation is taking place in agriculture. This identifies those aspects of basic conditions, such as those of infrastructure and networks, affordability, education and institutional support. In addition, enablers are identified, which are the factors that allow adopting and integrating changes in the production and decision-making processes. Finally identify through cases, existing literature and reports how substantive changes are taking place in the adoption of digital technologies in agriculture.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Digital excellence in agriculture in Europe and Central Asia
    Good practices in the field of digital agriculture - Stocktaking report
    2021
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    The present report is the outcome of the joint call on good practices on Digital Excellence in Agriculture, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Office for Europe and Office for CIS and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Office for Europe and Central Asia. The document presents a summary version of the 171 eligible submissions of good practices and innovative solutions advancing the digital transformation of agriculture in Europe and Central Asia. This call complements the joint FAO-ITU review on the Status of Digital Agriculture in 18 countries of Europe and Central Asia (ITU-FAO, 2020)1 and provides evidence on how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) play an emerging role in the agriculture landscapes of the regions, acting as an engine for agricultural development. However, the adoption of digital technologies in agriculture differs from country to country, and from region to region. The review in the 18 countries highlighted that smallholder farmers have yet to experience the widespread benefits of this digital transformation, and they are lagging behind when it comes to the adoption of digital agriculture solutions and innovations due to lack of trust in the potential of ICTs, limited digital skills, connectivity issues and restricted availability of ICT-based solutions to utilize and scale up. Realizing the full potential of digital agriculture transformation requires identifying, sharing and implementing best practices and proven solutions across countries, involving all actors in participatory processes.

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