Beyond Hype: Digital Trends, Scale and Evidence
Global agricultural development is increasingly shaped by the unprecedented growth of the digital economy. Digital technologies have demonstrated the potential to redefine economic growth models, empower poor people with new communications tools, and facilitate more productive interactions and financial transactions across agricultural market systems and value chains. In many places, tech is enabling agricultural and financial service provision at a scale never before seen. An estimated 85 percent of farmers’ households will have a mobile phone by 2025, only further enabling growth in the agtech space.
But, we have also seen enough to suggest that without deliberate focus and if left unchecked, digital technologies may in fact exacerbate inequalities and deepen the negative effects of online, digital engagement. As such, each of us has a commitment to ensure the digital economy is inclusive in a manner that is open, secure, reliable, unfettered and interoperable. And, much is still left to better understand about the evidence and longer-term impact of digital technologies on the agricultural sector and rural households.
Join us for the Agrilinks digital ag month webinar, where we’ll review industry trends, explore examples of innovative technologies that are scaling to better serve rural household, and discuss how we might better understand the evidence and impact of digital tech.
 The Digitalization of African Agriculture Report 2018–2019
Brian King leads the Platform for Big Data in Agriculture, a global program of the CGIAR consortium centered on digital transformation of food systems worldwide.
Jehiel Oliver is the founder and CEO of Hello Tractor, an agricultural technology company that connects tractor owners with smallholder farmers in need of tractor services.
Dr Benjamin K Addom is the Team Leader, ICTs for Agriculture at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Netherlands.
Sarah Mackay leads on managing Strategic Partnerships for Wefarm - the world's largest digital network for small-scale farmers.