The U.S. – Africa Agtech Forum on Agricultural Technology came off on the margins of the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce partnered with The World Food Prize, The World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and Cultivation Corridor to bring together over 150 attendees, including U.S. Government Official and Ministers from across Africa to discuss the nexus of technology in agriculture.
Nearly 800 million people do not have access to sufficient and nutritious food to live a healthy life. With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2015, the challenge of feeding the world is set to become even more acute.
Beyond the impact of global health, there is ample evidence linking food insecurity to physical security threats, creating broad implications that transcend national borders. It’s also estimated that changes in agriculture and land use are responsible for roughly 25% of greenhouse gas emissions – making the drive for food security a potential exacerbating factor in climate change if not paired with more efficient and sustainable agricultural practices.
Digital innovation has the potential to revolutionize all aspects of the agricultural value chain – increasing agricultural efficiency, reducing food waste and alleviating food insecurity in the process. If we are to realize the vision, however, governments around the world must establish a regulatory environment that facilitate, rather than stifle, such technological solutions.
To ensure that we leverage the potential of digital innovation to transform the agricultural value chain and meet our shared objectives, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the World Food Prize encourage governments around the world to adopt the following principles;
- Foster innovation through an appropriate regulatory environment.
- Prioritize internet access and consumer choice.
- Promote increased access to finance.
- Commit to a cross-border data flow.
- Facilitate broad access to government data.
- Implement good regulatory practices for Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPs) measures.
- Modernize customs for the digital era.
- Support supply chain transparency.
- Protect intellectual property and international investment.
- Use international standards to avoid non-tariff barriers.
- Foster trust in the digital ecosystem via best-in-class cybersecurity practices.