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Publication | 7 September 2020

Realizing the potential of digitization to improve agri-food system – Proposing a new International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture

Global Food and Nutrition Security

This concept note has been produced in response to a request by 74 agriculture ministers in January 2019 during the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture (GFFA) and supported financially by the Federal Republic of Germany. It proposes the creating of a new body, an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture, to enhance international cooperation, the exchange of ideas and experiences across borders, creating synergies and avoiding duplication of efforts. It will strive to keep

pace with rapid developments in digitalization, working with new digital tools and the highest expertise available. In line with this, it will help to tackle challenges of food security, hunger, health, inclusiveness and sustainability in the agri-food system at national, regional and international levels.

With this approach, the Digital Council would provide structured and strategic agricultural policy recommendations on digitalization to governmental and non-governmental actors, strengthen international cooperation in the agri-food system to identify the challenges and solutions. Examples of activities include the organization of international forums to share best policy practices, and promoting interaction among farmers associations from different countries and national- and international-level stakeholders.

The scope and function of the proposed Digital Council are summarised herein for consideration by government ministers, international organization members, donors

and other stakeholders. It was highly noted amongst all stakeholders involved in the process of producing this concept note that the proposed Digital Council would have significant impacts on increasing the positive benefits of digitization in the food and agriculture sector, contributing to improving rural livelihoods.