Greater agricultural innovation ‘is needed to tackle the risks of climate change’

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned farmers must not be left behind when it comes to new technologies and business models

Festival Net Zero 2021

Greater agricultural innovation is needed to tackle the risks of climate change and deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu, said “there is a need for innovation not only in science but also in policies, in how we do business and the way we think”.

He stressed farmers have an important role to play as the people that actually apply agricultural innovation and warned they must not be left behind when it comes to the adoption of new technologies and business models.

He said innovation, technology and digitalisation can strengthen climate change actions, increase food production and support everyone involved in the food value chain when they are applied to the food and farming industries.

Examples of possible solutions include precision and digital agriculture, enhanced early warning systems, remote sensing technologies and climate-neutral approaches – for example, precision irrigation can reduce water use by up to a fifth.

Qu Dongyu said: “Empowering farmers and strengthening coordination, especially at country level, are crucial to responding to climate change challenges and reaching all SDGs and it is time to scale up and speed up our efforts.”

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