The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) is one of the annual flagship report released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It provides comprehensive insights into the various issues related to the field of food and agriculture based on science-based assessment.
The key findings of the State of Food and Agriculture Report 2022:
- The report assessed various drivers of agricultural automation, including the recently developed digital technologies.
- Based on 27 case studies, the report analyzed the business case for the adoption of these digital automation technologies across various agricultural production systems in the world.
- It identified various challenges that are preventing inclusive adoption of these technologies, especially by small-scale producers. It recognized two major barriers for their adoption – low digital literacy and lack of supportive infrastructure like connectivity and access to electricity.
- The report recommended policies that will enable disadvantaged groups to access the agricultural automation technologies, which will help in the creation of sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.
- Agriculture sector in high-income countries in North America, Europe and Oceania are highly mechanized since the 1960s. However, regions dominated by low and middle-income countries are less mechanized.
- Only ten of the twenty-seven service providers are profitable and financially sustainable. All of these profitable service providers are based in high-income and used solutions that are in the mature phase, serving only large-scale producers.
- There are significant differences in the spread of automation technologies between and within countries.
- The adoption is especially limited in sub-Saharan Africa. Agriculture in this region is dominated by human and animal power, limiting the productivity significantly. The report recommends setting up sustainable rental mechanisms to address this issue.
The report addresses the concerns regarding the unemployment crisis caused by labour-saving technologies. It gives several recommendations in this regard:-
- Avoiding subsidization of automation in regions where rural labor is abundant and wages are low
- Creation of favorable environment for the adoption of automation technology
- Providing social security for low-skilled workers who are likely to lose their livelihood because of the automation.
- FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
- World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16th October to mark the anniversary of the founding of the FAO in 1945.
- It is one of the UN food aid organisations based in Rome (Italy). Its sister bodies are the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Important Initiatives Taken By FAO:
- Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).
- Monitors the Desert Locust situation throughout the world.
- The Codex Alimentarius Commission or CAC is the body responsible for all matters regarding the implementation of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
- The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
Flagship Publications By FAO:
- The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA).
- The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO).
- The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI).
- The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA).
- The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO).
- World Food Price Index.
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