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Digitising agriculture in the face of climate change

  Apr 19, 2017

Digitising agriculture in the face of climate change

Digitisation of agriculture or e-agriculture is seen as an emerging field focused on enhancing agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes. Digitisation interventions seek to achieve a triple bottom line: Digitisation is integral to climate smart agriculture, a sector rapidly expanding. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate.
Interventions using ICT have already taken shape. Major activities include: Importance of e-agriculture
The world will need 50-70 per cent more food by 2050. Thus, the main challenge today is, how to produce more food. A way to do that is to make the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers more productive and efficient. ICT is crucial for this to happen. Digitising agriculture can help countries meet goals effectively in many areas like: agricultural extension and advisory services, promoting environmentally sustainable farming practices, disaster management and early warning system, enhancing market access, food safety and traceability, financial inclusion, insurance and risk management, capacity building and empowerment, among others. ICT-based initiatives in different aspects of agriculture allow farmers access to information about agricultural value chains, risk management, market and price information, advisory services, policies. They also bring back data for agricultural research.

How can digitisation of agriculture benefit smallholder farmers? In a bid to facilitate countries to form national and regional strategies for digitisation of agriculture, the FAO along with the International Telecommunication Union, released a framework to guide formulation of national plans. The organisation offers technical assistance in the design, development and implementation of sustainable ICT solutions to address some of the key challenges in agriculture.
 
Hindrances in development of e-agriculture