Agriculture Ministers’ Conference at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture in Berlin, Germany.
Photo: © BMEL/photothek.net
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At the Agriculture Ministers’ Conference in mid-January 2019, 74 ministers adopted a communiqué in which they call for establishing an international Digital Council.

At this year’s 11th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) organised by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and held in Berlin, Germany in mid-January 2019, the digital agricultural revolution was in focus. At the International Agriculture Ministers’ Conference which became the most important annual meeting for agricultural policy at international level, 74 ministers and 13 international organisations communicated the need to form an international framework for digitisation in agriculture under the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). With this communiqué, a concept was given for considering the establishment of an international Digital Council for Food and Agriculture that will advise governments and other relevant actors. This Council shall facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences and consequently shall help everyone harness the opportunities presented by digitisation.

International Digital Council – who should be involved?

With the communiqué, the ministers asked the FAO to draw up a concept for the establishment of an international Digital Council, in consultation with stakeholders including the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA).

According to the communiqué, the ministers would like to encourage the FAO, with the involvement of other stakeholders, to draw up a technology impact assessment of the opportunities and risks presented by digitisation for agriculture and rural areas.

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