The global food system is not sufficiently sustainable, efficient or well-designed to respond as needed to growing biophysical and population pressures. The agricultural supply chains that underpin the current system account for up to 30 percent of global anthropogenic GHG emissions, consumes half of all habitable land and 70 percent of freshwater, and is a major cause of biodiversity loss as well as the principal driver of phosphorus and nitrogen pollution. Almost a quarter of all food calories produced are lost in supply chains or wasted during consumption. In addition, the existing food system is also failing to deliver on its primary role of nourishing a growing global population: 1 in 3 people are malnourished, 155 million children are stunted, and 2 billion adults are overweight or obese.
Transforming this food system into an inclusive, diverse, resilient, regionally adapted and healthy model for the future will be critical in order to deliver on both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. More importantly, this transformation process will need to include small farms throughout Sub Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, which are responsible for 75% of crops and food in the region while at the same time comprising the most vulnerable to climate change. Harnessing new technological advances (such as big data, machine learning, internet of things) has the potential to drive this transformation through sustainable and inclusive supply chains.
Executive Director Andre Laperriere will be representing GODAN at a high-level meeting of international organisations, government representatives and experts at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London this week to discuss the topic of Harnessing Big Data and AI for Sustainable and Inclusive Agriculture.
The Workshop will bring together stakeholders and practitioners to explore how digital technologies might be responsibly deployed to support small-scale farming. These technologies have the potential to tackle food security issues by enhancing farming operations and predictive ability and approaches to mitigate risk, improving access to markets, finance, and supply chains, and allowing better management of natural resources. However, adoption of such technologies in smallholder settings continues to be challenging.More specifically, this convening will address the opportunities and promises of technology usage and application across smallholder value chains as well as approaches and best practices for data management and governance that can build trust and support a fair and inclusive data economy in agriculture.