Advancing Resilience, Nutrition, and Agriculture-Led Growth in a Digital World
Nearly 750 million people were exposed to severe levels of food insecurity in 2019. To help accelerate while protecting development progress, the agriculture sector remains critical for reducing poverty, achieving food security, and improving nutrition. With so many challenges unfolding on our planet — from the ongoing pandemic to climate change and more — our agriculture system must shift toward practices that improve health, sustainability, equality, and resilience.
Leveraging digital tools has the potential to improve agricultural productivity, reduce costs, and strengthen resilience to climate shocks by allowing farmers to optimize their use of resources. Digital technologies can also support the entire agriculture and food system by connecting suppliers in the private sector to new market opportunities, meeting the needs of both farmers and consumers.
However, this potential can only be unlocked by first closing the digital gender gap. Nearly half of the world’s population remains offline, and women and girls continue to face gender-based barriers that prevent them from accessing and using technology and digital tools at the same level as boys and men.
We can create more inclusive digital systems through partnership. The public and private sectors must work closely together to unlock investments and opportunities that encourage the adoption of new tools and technologies and enable resilient systems. Digital and technology solutions take on many forms — from agriculture solutions delivered through simple and well-established tools like radio or WhatsApp to more sophisticated geospatial technologies that evaluate, predict, and respond to crop health on a local level.
How do we get more phones in the hands of farmers? How do we close the digital gender divide? How do we turn technology potential into food-secure and resilient communities? These and other cross-cutting questions will drive the presentations and discussions at the ICTforAg 2020 conference on November 18th, 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM (UTC). This year’s ICTforAg offers an interactive 16-hour virtual experience focused on technical dialogue and fostering collaboration across multiple sectors in the digital agriculture community. Experts and enthusiasts are encouraged to tune in and engage with fellow attendees. Registration will remain open and free in the lead up to the event, but attendees are encouraged to sign up early to network on the Whova event platform.
The conversation will not end here — achieving food security is one the greatest challenges and opportunities of our time, and we hope you’ll join our network of food security experts and digital problem solvers this November.