Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

REPORT: Digital Agriculture: New Frontiers for the Food System

World Bank (2021) What's Cooking: Digital Transformation of the Agrifood System (Agriculture and Food) February 25, 2021, 160 pp.

The digital agriculture revolution holds a promise to build an agriculture and food system that is efficient, environmentally sustainable, and equitable, one that can help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. Unlike past technological revolutions in agriculture, which began on farms, the current revolution is being sparked at multiple points along the agrifood value chain. 
  • The change is driven by the ability to collect, use, and analyze massive amounts of machine-readable data about practically every aspect of the value chain, and by the emergence of digital platforms disrupting existing business models. 
  • All this allows for drastically reduced transaction costs and pervasive information asymmetries that plague the agrifood system. The success of the digital transformation, however, is not guaranteed as the risks it brings are numerous, including those related to data governance and inadequate competition within and between digital platforms. 
What’s Cooking: Digital Transformation of the Agrifood System investigates how digital technologies can accelerate the transformation of the agrifood system by increasing efficiency on the farm; improving farmers’ access to output, input, and financial markets; strengthening quality control and traceability; and improving the design and delivery of agriculture policies. It also identifies a key role for the public sector in maximizing the benefits of this process while minimizing its risks, through enabling an innovation ecosystem featuring open datasets, digital platforms, digital entrepreneurship, digital payment systems, and digital skills and encouraging equitable technology adoption.

17 March 2021
. WEBINAR Digital Agriculture: New Frontiers for the Food System, a dynamic event with food tech innovators and leaders from the private and public sector explored the transformational potential of digital agriculture to feed the world in a way that delivers healthier people, healthier economies and a healthier planet.

Mari Elka Pangestu; World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships
Martien van Nieuwkoop; Global Director, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank
Juergen Voegele; Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank
Kateryna Schroeder; Agriculture Economist, Food and Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank
Boutheina Guermazi; Director of Digital Development, World Bank
Sunny George Verghese; Executive Director, Co-Founder and Group CEO, Olam
Bill Sonneborn; Senior Director, Disruptive Technologies, IFC
Lauri A. Hanover; Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Netafim Ltd
Thirukumaran Nagarajan; Co-founder and CEO, Ninjacart
Peter Njonjo; Co-Founder and CEO, Twiga Foods
Ranveer Chandra; Chief Scientist, Azure Global at Microsoft
Rikin Gandhi; Co-founder and Executive Director, Digital Green
Jessica Fanzo; Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics, The Johns Hopkins University
Simon Winter; Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation
Mariana Vasconcelos; CEO, Agrosmart S.A.
Christine Gould; Founder & CEO, Thought for Food
Simone Strey; Founder and CEO, Plantix
Taesik Yoon, Deputy Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), Republic of Korea
Hamadi Iddi Boga; Principal Secretary of the State Department for Agricultural Research in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation in the Government of Kenya
Maximo Torero Cullen; Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Femi Oke, international journalist, writer and moderator

AIWF and the World Bank collaborated on 24 February 2021 on a key virtual event of the AIWF 2021 Programme, 'What’s Cooking: Digital Transformation of the Agrifood System'. 
  • co-chaired by AIWF President & Founder Haifa Al Kaylani and Marianne Grosclaude, Practice Manager for Agriculture and Food MENA, The World Bank
  • Julian Lampietti, Practice Manager of the Global Engagement Unit of the Agriculture and Food Practice, The World Bank; 
  • Eugene Willemsen, CEO AMESA, PepsiCo; 
  • Ghada Elabed, Senior Agriculture Economist, The World Bank; 
  • Parmesh Shah, Global Lead for Digital Agriculture, The World Bank. 
The session examined the key findings and recommendations of the key World Bank Report 'What’s Cooking, Digital Transformation of the Agrifood System', which investigates the vital role of women in digital agriculture, how digital technologies can accelerate the transformation of the agrifood system by:
  1. increasing efficiency on the farm; 
  2. improving farmers’ access to output, input, and financial markets; 
  3. improving quality control and traceability; 
  4. and increasing efficiency in the design and delivery of agricultural policies.

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