Stories tagged: agricultural technology

CFS Side Event: The Future of Farming

17th October 2018

Rome, Italy

As the FAO’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS) gears up for the high-level panel of experts report on Agroecology and Other Innovations, Farming First will be co-hosting a side event that will highlight some of the best examples of innovations to advance agroecological outcomes in areas the UN is calling for including: recycling, resource use efficiency, reducing external inputs, diversification, integration, and soil health.

Speakers will discuss solutions that are applicable to farms of all sizes and regions, and identify ways to design sustainable farming systems that respect and benefit from the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment.

When: Wednesday, October 17, 13:00 to 14:30
Where: Philippines Room, FAO, Rome

Panellists

Otmane Bennani Smires, OCP Group
H.E Maria Cristina Boldorini, Moderator
Craige Mackenzie, Global Farmer Network
Nancy Muchiri, African Agricultural Technology Foundation Wade Barnes, Farmers Edge
Arianna Giuliodori, World Farmers’ Organisation
Chris Noble, Noble Farms
Rick White, Canadian Canola Growers Association

Follow the debate on Twitter #FutureOfFarming #CFS45 @farmingfirst

Agricultural Innovations to Shape Future of Farming Highlighted at FAO

Innovation and technology have critical roles to play if smallholder farmers across the world are to become more productive and sustainable.

This year’s FAO International Symposium on Innovation for Family Farmers in Rome brought together innovators, farmers and policymakers to discuss how we can best combine farmers’ knowledge with the latest technology to meet these goals.

A side event co-hosted by Farming First, the International Agri-Food Network and Government of Nigeria, explored some of the best transformative technologies making farming more efficient and productive, while achieving agroecological outcomes.

The recent UN General Assembly Resolution on Agricultural Technology for Sustainable Development recognized “the need to further enhance the linkages between agricultural technology and agroecological principles, such as recycling, resource use efficiency, reducing external inputs, diversification, integration, soil health and synergies, in order to design sustainable farming systems that strengthen the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment for food security and nutrition, enhance productivity, improve nutrition, conserve the natural resource base and attain more sustainable and innovative food systems.” 

Following a successful prior event at FAO during the Committee on World Food Security, this event brought together a global panel of experts to discuss how innovation and agroecology can work together hand in hand.

Jack Froese, President of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, spoke about the role technology can play in helping reducing waste and helping increase farmers’ incomes. He outlined how new plant breeding has helped to reduce post-harvest losses by keeping plant pods intact and seed ready for harvest.

Speakers addressed solutions that apply to farms of all sizes and regions. Thavy Chumni Un Staal of BASF spoke about the power digital technologies can have for small-scale farmers.

Paul Wagstaff, Senior Agriculture Advisor at Self Help Africa agreed, adding that farmers needed to have a range of appropriate technologies at their disposal to become sustainable farmers.

“Farmers need choices of innovations,” he commented.

He highlighted Self Help Africa’s work on conservation agriculture, in which farmers are supported to improve soil health through intercropping and minimum soil disturbance.

Shiv Kumar Agrawal, a lentil breeder at ICARDA, highlighted the importance innovation can play in helping to drive crop diversity and drive food systems change.

He highlighted ICARDA’s breeding work that has shortened the growing season for pulses and legumes, allowing them to fit into crop rotations with rice.

This innovation goes beyond simply increasing productivity. Agrawal added that innovation could bring other positive outcomes. ”This is good for the environment and for nutrition.”

The event also brought to the fore the role of next generation farmers in promoting the wider use of technology.

Agusdin Pulungan, President of the Indonesian Farmers’ Society Organisation, spoke about the important role young people have in accelerating the uptake of technology.

“As a farmers’ organisation, we have championed ecological farming, more direct marketing, and working with youth in cities,” Pulungan said, adding that young people as a generation are crucial in driving the partnerships that are needed to deliver systemic change.

“We need to boost acceleration, and boost partnerships, in order to accelerate innovation.” 

Featured photo credit: Robynne Anderson

How Digital Farming Will Help Feed the World and Protect the Planet

Mark Young, Chief Technology Officer at Climate Corporation, looks at how digital technology can empower farmers, feed the world and protect the planet

Farmers face a dual challenge. How can they produce the food required to feed the world, while protecting the planet at the same time? The solution will rest on finding effective ways to minimize the losses of energy, water and nutrients associated with farming.

Digital agriculture – the use of data to make more informed decisions about managing agronomic operations – holds the key to increased efficiency on the farm.

It allows farmers to act with precision, known as precision agriculture. Drones, sensors and farm robots can tell us precisely where and how much water should be applied, keeping losses to an absolute minimum. They can spot pests and disease early and generate prescriptions to optimize soil and crop health.

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OCT172018
CFS Side Event: The Future of Farming

17th October 2018

Rome, Italy

As the FAO’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS) gears up for the high-level panel of experts report on Agroecology and Other Innovations, Farming First will be co-hosting a side event that will highlight some of the best examples of innovations to advance agroecological outcomes in areas the UN is calling for including: recycling, resource use efficiency, reducing external inputs, diversification, integration, and soil health.

Speakers will discuss solutions that are applicable to farms of all sizes and regions, and identify ways to design sustainable farming systems that respect and benefit from the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment.

When: Wednesday, October 17, 13:00 to 14:30
Where: Philippines Room, FAO, Rome

Panellists

Otmane Bennani Smires, OCP Group
H.E Maria Cristina Boldorini, Moderator
Craige Mackenzie, Global Farmer Network
Nancy Muchiri, African Agricultural Technology Foundation                                                                  Wade Barnes, Farmers Edge
Arianna Giuliodori, World Farmers’ Organisation
Chris Noble, Noble Farms
Rick White, Canadian Canola Growers Association

Follow the debate on Twitter #FutureOfFarming #CFS45 @farmingfirst

Youth Put Agritech Toolbox To The Test

This month, we asked members of the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) network to explore which agricultural technologies can have the biggest impact in their home countries and regions.  The four respondents – each from a different continent around the world – used the brand new online model, “Agritech Toolbox”, produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which allows users to interact with original data showing expected yields of rice, wheat and maize between now and 2050 under various climate change scenarios from the use of 11 different agricultural technologies. Here is what they discovered… Continue reading