Meeting of G20 agriculture ministers - scientists call for more investment in digitalisation of agriculture

Within the ongoing International Green Week in Germanys capital agricultural politicans from G20 meet to discuss about the situation and recent developments on global agri-food markets. Scientists from leading research institutes and think tanks in the G20 countries used the chance and demand more investment in the digitalisation of agriculture. According to the recommendations of the so-called T20 network, which was chaired by Professor Joachim von Braun who is also the chairman of the bioeconomic office as well as director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at Bonn University, especially ICT-platforms provide big possibilities in terms of efficiency gains with simulaneous improvements towards sustainablilty. According to the scientists, these platforms should be developed and established within the framework of public-private partnerships at G20 level with access for non-G20 countries. Scientist see in particular great potential for the use of such platforms for smaller farms - e.g. in Africa and Asia. With the help of digital technologies, farmers could be linked to urban markets and the sustainable use of land and water. In addition the resilience of the global food system could be improved. The Task Force calls for a new policy for sustainable water and land use as a prerequisite for global food security. Sustainable agriculture is, however, only possible if land, water and energy are treated by policy as one holistic topic rather than isolated areas. Although the scientists recognize in their paper the current global political efforts to promote food security and sustainable agriculture they criticize the lack of concrete follow-up to the commitments of the G20 and other countries. The scientists call therefore for more investment in innovations in water, agri- and food systems and their joint use, and advocate for the redesign of the global management of food and agriculture. In this context ICT means digitization in agriculture is very important.