On October 11, PARI Coordinator Dr. Heike Baumüller joined the T20 Policy Roundtable (Task Force 4 – Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture) hosted by CIPS, to discuss advances in the food systems through digital technology and innovation. The event was opened by moderator Azizah Fauzi (Junior Researcher CIPS) with an opening statement describing the worrying rise in food insecurity while raising the question on how the G20 can promote innovation and technology to foster sustainable agriculture.
In addition to PARI Coordinator Dr. Heike Baumüller, three other experts joined the discussion: Prof. Dr. Ir. Damayanti Buchori (Co-Chair of the T20 Task Force on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture), Dr. Malikul Ikram (Director of Research and Development of PT. BIOPS Agrotekno Indonesia), and Dr. Dil Rahut (Vice Chair for Research and Senior Research Fellow of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ABDI)). The experts in attendance then gave brief presentations, addressing key points of digitization in agriculture and food systems, with a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities of adapting technologies.
Dr. Baumüller first gave an insight into the trends in digital agriculture. Using an example of a digital innovation that enables large companies to source from smallholder farmers, Dr. Baumüller emphasized the effectiveness of digital innovations and the need for better connectivity through mobile phone coverage in agricultural areas. The speakers’ presentations were followed by a Q&A session. Regarding how to build successful collaborations between developed and emerging economies, Dr. Baumüller highlighted the need to recognize the innovation potential of digitalization in agriculture in LMICs. In conclusion, the panelists underlined the importance of committed individuals combined with a supportive environment created by governments that can enable digital innovation and drive change. They further stressed the significance of putting smallholder farmers at the center of the discussion as well as making technology available to them.