According to the State of Food Security and Nation in the World, in 2019, nearly 690 million people were hungry, or 8.9 percent of the world population. Increasing agricultural productivity and sustainable food production is crucial to help alleviate the perils of hunger. This is why technology and digitalization have been listed as part of the targets set to fulfill the goal of achieving zero hunger and enhancing agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries.
Digitalization for agriculture is the use of digital technologies, innovations, and data to transform business models and practices across the agricultural value chain and address issues related to productivity, postharvest handling, market access, finance, and supply chain management so as to achieve greater income for smallholder farmers, improve food and nutrition security, build climate resilience and expand inclusion of youth and women.
Digital tools can aid in every part of the agricultural value chain and can be integrated through planning, inputs, on-farm production, storage, post-harvest processing transport, access to markets etc. Using technology across the value chain translates into tangible improvements in food security for vulnerable populations.
Increasing digitalization in agriculture will bring about many benefits for agriculture actors including smallholder farmers, governments, businesses, private agronomy actors, and the world’s population at large. Some benefits include improved food security, food quality, and food safety. Digital technologies can also create employment for young people in the agriculture sector as digitalization increases interest and sector attractiveness for the young.
The strategic use of digital technologies and innovative IT business models can (and have already begun to) accelerate sustainable agricultural transformation in various parts of the world. However, the agriculture sector in developing countries is adopting these technologies at a slow pace due to issues related to funding, government, commitment, partnerships and user-centered design. Also, integrating these systems will be done depending on prevailing issues in the region like technological competency, ownership of supporting technologies, culture, business environment, etc.
Bewsys is committed to developing user-centered digital solutions that advance sustainable development goals. In the area of agriculture, Bewsys has developed learning and information sharing systems and monitoring and evaluation systems.
Bewsys has designed and developed a mobile application and agricultural advisory system to enable farmers to connect with other farmers and agronomists to share advice, solve problems and share information for free. The team has also designed and developed a web-based knowledge management portal and a field auditing mobile application to enable auditors to easily access checklists, collect, analyze and share data. The mobile app had offline and online functionalities to prevent information loss considering that the auditors carried out audits in remote areas
The UN reports that as more go hungry and malnutrition persists, achieving zero hunger by 2030 is not looking possible. However, promoting digital solutions and the increasing digitalization in agriculture is going down the right path to ensure zero hunger by 2030.