Agricultural automation can boost food production in Africa and globally — UN study
Agricultural automation can boost global food production and be a boon for small-scale farmers in developing countries, a new United Nations report has found.
“The State of Food and Agriculture 2022“ report, just released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), says automation is rapidly changing the face of agriculture. New technologies, the authors say, are quickly leaving behind some of the old larger-type tractors and large machinery in ways that could benefit small holders in developing countries. Parallels can be drawn with the introduction of cellphones. The World Bank, among other observers, notes African and other developing countries can harness digital technologies to boost their economies by advancing from landlines to smartphones.
FAO said automation can play an important role in making food production more efficient and more environmentally friendly. “Automation allows agriculture to be more productive, efficient, resilient, and sustainable and can improve working conditions,” Chief FAO economist Maximo Torero says, adding that “it is important to understand that in a continent like sub-Saharan Africa, where there is an enormous amount of youth population, we can build the skill sets of these people to be able to have access to these technologies.”
The report looks at 27 case studies from all over the world. They represent technologies at different stages of readiness suitable for large or small agricultural producers of varying levels of income.