In news– The 2022 edition of the State of Food and Agriculture report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was released recently.
Key highlights of the report-
- It is one of FAO’s major annual flagship publications, aimed at bringing to a wider audience balanced science-based assessments of important issues in the field of food and agriculture.
- It looks into the drivers of agricultural automation, including the more recent digital technologies.
- Based on 27 case studies, the report analyses the business case for adoption of digital automation technologies in different agricultural production systems across the world.
- It identifies several barriers preventing inclusive adoption of these technologies, particularly by small-scale producers.
- Key barriers are low digital literacy and lack of an enabling infrastructure, such as connectivity and access to electricity, in addition to financial constraints.
- As per the report, the available statistics on the number of tractors per 1,000 hectares of arable land highlighted the unequal regional progress towards mechanisation.
- High-income countries in North America, Europe and Oceania were highly mechanised by the 1960s. But regions dominated by low-and middle-income countries were less mechanised.
- The report looked at 27 case studies from all over the world, representing different technologies. Only 10 (mostly based in high-income countries)of the 27 service providers are profitable and financially sustainable.
- Crucially, there are wide disparities in the spread of automation between and within countries, with adoption being particularly limited in sub-Saharan Africa.
- For instance, Japan had more than 400 tractors per 1,000 hectares of arable land, compared with just 0.4 in Ghana in 2005.
- Agriculture reliant on human and animal power continues to dominate in sub-Saharan Africa, limiting productivity.
- Based on this analysis, the publication suggested policies to ensure that agricultural automation is inclusive and contributes to sustainable and resilient agrifood systems.
- FAO referred to the TROTRO Tractor Limited (TTL), a platform that connects farmers and tractor operators. It allows tractor owners to monitor their equipment’s movement and operations.
List of reports published by FAO-
The FAO also brings out a number of publications/reports, some of which are, the State of the World, the Global Report on Food Crises, the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, the State of Food and Agriculture, the State of the World’s Forests, etc.