“Precise and integrated response for sustainable farming”

13-15 November 2017 in Novi Sad, Serbia


FAO Forum on e-Agriculture For Central and South-East Europe “Precise and integrated response for sustainable farming and inclusive food systems”, that was organized from the 13-15th of November at Hotel Park in Novi Sad Serbia. The total number of participants on this conference was 114 representing: Academia, Government, Experts, Business sector, Farmers, Non-Profit Organizations and other organization. This divers structure of participants on the event was the base for the core concept of this regional event, that is establishing direct communication with each relevant stakeholder in the e-agriculture ecosystem with primary focus on Farmers.

E-agriculture refers to designing, developing and applying innovative ways to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture and food, including fisheries, forestry and livestock. Technological application, facilitation, support of standards and norms, capacity development, education and extension belong to the broader concept of e-agriculture. E-agriculture offer the unprecedented opportunities for accelerating agricultural development, however appropriate enabling environment is needed to realize the technology potential.

The objectives of the event was to (i) bring together agricultural producers and processors, public research and academia, extension agents, IT solution developers and policy makers to facilitate their collaboration and co-creation of knowledge and (ii) raise awareness on a FAO-ITU approach on formulation of a national e-agriculture strategy. This strategy contributes to achieving national agricultural goals that include development of sustainable food systems, climate change mitigation and adaptation and improving the livelihoods of rural communities, including smallholders and family farmers, men and women.

The event consisted of three days of activities. On the first day high governmental officials, institutional representatives and representatives of the business sector discussed issues in the area of policy, institutional capacity, infrastructure, business environment and academia as key aspects for holistic approach in more dynamic introduction of e-agriculture on the central, regional and farm level. Specific aspects of the discussion were how a national e-agriculture strategy can contribute to achieving national agricultural goals.

Parallel sessions were conducted on the second day of the conference. Several thematic sessions were discussed like The status of e-agriculture in the region and the needs for improved enabling environment, Sustainable intensification of agricultural production, ICTs assisted Food Systems, ICT assisted Climate smart agriculture, and Empowerment of smallholders and family farmers through ICTs. Moreover as a separate part from the parallel session’s companies’ exhibitors and project representatives presented their ICT solutions/projects that they represent.
As part of the Regional Forum, all the farmers were able to experience and see the latest technology and work of one of the biggest farms in Serbia Krivaja DOO. That represented the final day of the Regional Forum in which the participants were able to see the latest agro technology. The idea behind this field trip was to inspire farmers to use, implement this type of technology that would help with the management of their own farms.

The total number of participants on the FAO Regional forum was 114. From the total number 9 from the Academia (or 10.26 % ), 12 from the Government ( or 13.68 % ), 18 Experts (or 20.52 %), 28 from the Business sector (or 31.92 %), 33 Farmers (or 37.62 %), 3 Non Profit Organizations (or 3.42 %) and 11 people part of the Organization (or 12.54 %).