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Gender-responsive digitalization

A critical component of the COVID-19 response in Africa

FAO. 2021. Gender-responsive digitalization: A critical component of the COVID-19 response in Africa. Accra.

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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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    Ready to go digital? Assessing the digital readiness of young agripreneurs in East Africa 2022
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    Food and Agricultural Organization’s Integrated Country Approach for boosting decent jobs for youth in agrifood systems carried out a digital readiness assessment of youth in agribusiness in partnership with the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation and youth-led organizations in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Over 360 young male and female entrepreneurs engaged through an online survey and virtual focus group discussions that generated insights on their interaction with digital technologies, either as entrepreneurs, service providers, or members of youth organizations. This summary note presents key findings on the following topics: agribusiness information flows, youth digital access and preferences, information technology use for business including e-commerce, e-learning, online mentoring, and online activities of rural youth networks.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Guide on digital agricultural extension and advisory services
    Use of smartphone applications by smallholder farmers
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    Digital agricultural extension and advisory services (AEAS) have a great potential to enhance accessibility, delivery, transparency, scope and impacts of information and services for smallholder farmers. However, this potential is often unfully harnessed and the benefits of digital AEAS unequally distributed due to an evident, widening digital divide between rural and urban areas, gender, and different social groups both within and among regions. Due to low-level e-literacy and digital skills, particularly smallholder farmers in rural areas in developing countries have limited access to and utilization of digital AEAS. Considering the above-mentioned benefits of digital AEAS, their poor uptake by smallholder farmers, and the importance of digital empowerment of smallholder farmers in particular, this guide, targeting smallholder farmers in need of digital AEAS as its principal users, provides a set of tools to enhance their digital skills in terms of basic knowledge and skills on using digital tools, methods of access to digital AEAS, methods of access to e-commerce, and capacity building.

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