The agriculture industry is facing many challenges, including rapid population growth, changes in dietary demands, food waste and the impact of climate change. Digital technologies allow farmers and growers to monitor, observe and collect data on different aspects of the farm, in real (near-real) time instead of direct observation and manual tasks on-site. More importantly, they can make intelligent based decisions to improve farm efficiency, maximise outputs and reduce environmental impacts.
Digital technologies—including sensors, earth observation, internet connectivity, mobile devices, drones, robotics and automations, data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain and big data—are changing agriculture and the food system. Examples, yield mapping, Soil management zoning and site-specific management, Variable-rate application, Auto-steering systems, Earth Observations, UAV and Robotics for crop and livestock monitoring, using Big Data, AI and ML in benchmarking and predictive modelling and Blockchain in food supply management.
Digital technologies can also help governments and policy makers to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing policies and programs, and to design better ones. For instance, freely available and high-quality satellite imagery dramatically reduces the cost of monitoring many agricultural activities. This could allow governments to move towards more targeted policies which pay (or penalize) farmers based on observed environmental outcomes. In addition to monitoring compliance with environmental policies, digital technologies enable automation of administrative processes for agriculture and the development of expanded government services, such as in relation to the extension or advisory services.
Ultimately, the power of digital solutions to support agricultural transformation will enable a digital food balance sheet (FBS). For the government to have a capability to measures the consumption, production and yields, trade levels, commodity prices, and stocks of food in a country. It draws data from stakeholders across the government and the private sector, such as the revenue authority for formal trade and industry associations for informal trade. A well-functioning FBS can support national food security by providing accurate and reliable information to support more-effective policy decisions on trade and food reserve disbursement. It can also inform the actions of consumers, farmers, and producers.
The main objectives of this program are to:
• Provide technical advisors, government officials and policy makers a foundation in agriculture technologies to enable them to navigate the current and future transformation processes.
• Demonstrate how technologies can be deployed to address challenges facing the agriculture sector and how to maximise the value of these technologies for farmers and government supports
• Integrate the power of technologies with best agronomic and economics understanding to drive innovation and digital transformation
• Understand the precision farming tools and capabilities
• Identify opportunities to deploy digital tools in your line of work
• Establish integrate approach between digital transformation with agronomic and economic aspects of the farm businesses.
• Evaluate a new opportunity that digital technology can offer to improve the food supply chain.
• Contribute to the policy development to support sustainable food production systems.