SOFA Report 2022 Automation in Agriculture

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Title: SOFA Report 2022 Automation in Agriculture
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The 2022 edition of The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA), looks at how automation in our agrifood systems can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and offers recommendations to policy makers on how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks.

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Date Created: 02/11/2022 00:00:00
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Agricultural automation can play an important role in making food production more efficient and more environmentally friendly. However, its uneven adoption can also deepen inequalities, especially if it remains inaccessible to small-scale producers and other marginalized groups, such as youth and women. 

 

The 2022 edition of The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA), one of the flagship reports produced each year by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), looks at how automation in our agrifood systems can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and offers recommendations to policy makers on how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks.

 

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrea Cattaneo, FAO Senior Economist: “Automation is key. We have already seen that mechanization, which is part of automation, has changed the face of agriculture in the last century.”

 

Automation in agriculture includes the use of artificial intelligence, drones, robotics, sensors, and global navigation satellite systems, along with hand-held devices such as mobile phones and smart devices connected to the internet: the so-called internet of things. Combining these innovations with renewable energy can contribute to a more efficient and sustainable use of natural resources and make agriculture more resilient to climate change.

 

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrea Cattaneo, FAO Senior Economist: “The big benefit about especially digital automation, as we advance, is that a lot of the digital agriculture uses sensors. You have sensors that monitor the health of plants, the health of animals, the amount of water that is used by crops, how much fertilizer is needed at a very disaggregated spatial level. All of this type of information facilitates decisions by farmers. But now the next phase, or the next step, is that with artificial intelligence that collects all these data at a time, these decisions are made even easier for the farmer.”

 

The report also looks at one of the most common concerns about automation, that it creates unemployment, and concludes that such fears are not borne out by historical realities. 

 

Overall, automation alleviates labour shortages and can make agricultural production more resilient and cost effective, improve product quality, increase resource-use efficiency, promote decent employment, and enhance environmental sustainability, the report says.

 

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrea Cattaneo, FAO Senior Economist: “Farming is a tough physical activity. So as a farmer having access to automation helps in producing more and more efficiently, and therefore it's something that is often welcome. Now, in digital automation, as we advance, there are also further improvements where farmers can use fewer inputs, for example, monitor water use, or monitor the use of pesticides. The issue about unemployment, which is often raised with automation, does not seem to bear out in historical reality.”

 

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization explains that technological progress and increased productivity are crucial to lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. FAO has therefore incorporated innovation into its programmatic interventions to maximize the benefits of the latest technologies while minimizing trade-offs.

 

SOUNDBITE (English) Andrea Cattaneo, FAO Senior Economist: “FAO works on several different levels. At the grander, let's say, more macro level, we work with governments to develop strategies for mechanization and make sure that mechanization and automation is adapted to the local needs and to the needs of producers. We also do a lot of training , training in digital agriculture to see how digital innovations can help farmers. And finally, we also work more on the ground, with projects that are with specific type of automations. Be they, the two-wheel tractors or drones, for example. And this is something that we do pretty much throughout the world, from North Macedonia to the Philippines to Latin America.”

 

The report looked at 27 case studies from all over the world, representing technologies at different stages of readiness and appropriate to agricultural producers of different scales and levels of income. 

 

It investigated the drivers of these technologies and identified several barriers preventing its adoption, particularly by small-scale producers. 

 

Based on this analysis, the publication offers a series of policy recommendations centered around the idea of responsible technological change. Investing in infrastructures, education, and training, research, and development, as well as supporting private innovation processes, are all parts of this process. The goal is to anticipate the impacts of the technologies on both people and the environment while promoting inclusive innovation processes that give special emphasis to the needs of small-scale producers, women, and youth.

 

The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) is one of FAO's major annual flagship publications, and aims at bringing to a wider audience balanced science-based assessments of important issues in the field of food and agriculture. Each edition of the report contains a comprehensive overview of a selected topic of major relevance for rural and agriculture development and for global food security. 

Shotlist:

STORY: FAO / SOFA Report 2022 on Automation in Agriculture

TRT: 3’:44’’

SOURCE: FAO

RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT FAO ON SCREEN

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 28 OCTOBER 2022, ROME, ITALY / RECENT

SHOTLIST:

21 JUNE 2022, NOVI SAD, SERBIA

1. Aerial shot, tractor harvesting wheat 

NOVEMBER 2017, LUBAO, PAMPANGA PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES

2. Close up, Drone flying 

6 JUNE 2022, JAKARTA, INDONESIA 

3. Tracking shot, video wall inside the Agriculture War Room at the Ministry of Agriculture

27 MAY 2022, CIWIDEY, WEST JAVA, INDONESIA

4. Close up, farmer using an app to control an automated irrigation system

28 OCTOBER 2022, ROME, ITALY

5. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrea Cattaneo, FAO Senior Economist: “Automation is key. We have already seen that mechanization, which is part of automation, has changed the face of agriculture in the last century.”

27 MAY 2022, CIWIDEY, WEST JAVA, INDONESIA

6. Med shot, automated irrigation system operating

7. Wide shot, farmer using an app to control an automated irrigation system

26-29 APRIL 2022, PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN PROVINCE, THAILAND

8. Wide shot, fish farmer walking towards an automated shrimp feeding machine

9. Med shot, fish farmer checking shrimp feed in an automated shrimp feeding machine

28 OCTOBER 2022, ROME, ITALY

10. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrea Cattaneo, FAO Senior Economist: “The big benefit about especially digital automation, as we advance, is that a lot of the digital agriculture uses sensors. You have sensors that monitor the health of plants, the health of animals, the amount of water that is used by crops, how much fertilizer is needed at a very disaggregated spatial level. All of this type of information facilitates decisions by farmers. But now the next phase, or the next step, is that with artificial intelligence that collects all these data at a time, these decisions are made even easier for the farmer.”

SEPTEMBER 2019, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

11. Close up, rake tool being used in a field 

SEPTEMBER 2019, UGANDA

12. Wide shot, farmers hoeing the ground in a field 

SEMPTEMBER 2019, MONGOLIA

13. Wide shot, farmer driving a tractor in a green house

28 OCTOBER 2022, ROME, ITALY

14. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrea Cattaneo, FAO Senior Economist: “Farming is a tough physical activity. So as a farmer having access to automation helps in producing more and more efficiently, and therefore it's something that is often welcome. Now, in digital automation, as we advance, there are also further improvements where farmers can use fewer inputs, for example, monitor water use, or monitor the use of pesticides. The issue about unemployment, which is often raised with automation, does not seem to bear out in historical reality.”

NOVEMBER 2017, LUBAO, PAMPANGA PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES

15. Med shot, drone operators in a field

16. Wide shot, drone being launched in the sky

28 OCTOBER 2022, ROME, ITALY

17. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrea Cattaneo, FAO Senior Economist: “FAO works on several different levels. At the grander, let's say, more macro level, we work with governments to develop strategies for mechanization and make sure that mechanization and automation is adapted to the local needs and to the needs of producers. We also do a lot of training , training in digital agriculture to see how digital innovations can help farmers. And finally, we also work more on the ground, with projects that are with specific type of automations. Be they, the two-wheel tractors or drones, for example. And this is something that we do pretty much throughout the world, from North Macedonia to the Philippines to Latin America.”

FEBRUARY 2021, COX’S BAZAR, BANGLADESH

18. Aerial shot, solar irrigation system installation

11 FEBRUARY 2022, ROLINDO DISTRICT, RWANDA

19. Med shot, woman operating a solar powered portable water pump

MARCH 2020, IBB GOVERNORATE, YEMEN

20. Med shot, water tank part of a solar powered water pump with FAO logo

21. Close up, solar powered water pump irrigating a field 

22. Close up, water running into fields

21 JUNE 2022, NOVI SAD, SERBIA

23. Med shot, farmer driving a tractor and harvesting wheat in a field

24. Aerial top shot, tractor harvesting wheat