Agricultural Platform

The agriculture and food sector is facing multiple challenges. With the global population projected to grow from 7.6 billion in 2018 (UN DESA, 2019) to over 9.6 billion in 2050 there will be a significant increase in the demand for food (UN DESA, 2017). At the same time, the availability of natural resources such as fresh water and productive arable land is becoming increasingly constrained. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, digital agriculture has the potential to deliver economic benefits through increased agricultural productivity, cost efficiency and market opportunities, social and cultural benefits through increased communication and inclusivity and environmental benefits through …

Production is not the only concern; although agricultural output is currently enough to feed the world, 821 million people still suffer from hunger (FAO, 2018). Processes such as the rapid rate of urbanization are also having important implications for patterns of food production and consumption.The agrifood sector remains critical for livelihoods and employment. There are more than 570 million smallholder farms worldwide (Lowder et al., 2016) and agriculture and food production accounts for 28% of the entire global workforce (ILOSTAT, 2019).Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal of a ‘world with zero hunger’ by 2030 will require more productive, efficient, sustainable, inclusive, transparent and resilient food systems (FAO, 2017b p. 140). This will require an urgent transformation of the current agrifood system.Digital innovations and technologies may be part of the solution. The so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (Industry 4.0)1 is seeing several sectors rapidly transformed by ‘disruptive’ digital technologies such as Blockchain, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Immerse Reality. In the agriculture and food sector, the spread of mobile technologies, remote-sensing services and distributed computing are already improving smallholders’ access to information, inputs, market,

Digital agriculture is the use of new and advanced technologies, integrated into one system, to enable farmers and other stakeholders within the agriculture value chain to improve food production. … The resulting combined data is analysed and interpreted so the farmer can make more informed and appropriate decisions.

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