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Digital technologies such as mobile technologies and remote-sensing services are spreading in the agriculture and food sector (FAO, 2022). Compared with large-scale farmers, small-scale ones have more difficulty in introducing such technologies due to their costs. In order to avoid unnecessary investment, small-scale farmers need to have clear objectives when adopting digital technologies and consider the balance between their costs and benefits.
Agriculture faces various challenges. This includes global warming, which decreases harvests and reduces crop quality. Consumers’ preference for fresher, appearing produce poses another challenge as it leads to increased use of pesticides. Recently, the pandemic and restrictions on human contact and movements have been added to the challenges. Digital technologies provide advantages such as labor saving, higher-quality harvests, and more efficient farm management.
Automated irrigation systems enable remote control of water levels in paddy fields via smart phones, thus saving time on monitoring and adjusting water intake. Precise data collection on the crop growth environment by remote sensors contributes to analysis of the best environmental conditions for crop growth, producing better-quality harvests with minimum pesticides. Farm management apps record data related to daily farm work, and some agricultural vehicles can automatically transmit location data to such apps. The data can be stored in cloud systems and used to make effective farm management plans.
Participants will have opportunities to learn about various successful models of digital technologies used on small-scale farms in the ROC and other members. This will enhance understanding of the importance of installing digital technologies for small-scale farmers and selecting the most appropriate ones for optimal farm management.
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