8th meeting of Advisory Committee on S&T for ARD, November 16-20, Montpellier, France
ICTs transforming agricultural science and innovation – implications for ACP agriculture
The ACP agricultural sector faces numerous challenges in effectively satisfying the food and nutrition needs of its growing population and the requirements for competing in global markets in addition to fulfilling its role as a driver of economic growth and social development. These challenges are compounded by (i) under investments in agriculture, science, research, tertiary education and inadequate physical infrastructure, (ii) dwindling natural resource base – land and water, climate change and soil degradation, (iii) declining human resource base with the necessary competencies and skills to generate, access, contextualize and optimize knowledge and technologies, (iv) inadequate recognition of local / traditional knowledge and (v) the global economic meltdown and energy crisis. ICTs hold the potential but there is need to overcome the barriers to making optimum use of science and technological innovations if the ACP region is to fully participate in the global knowledge system for improving ACP agricultural performance. Investments in physical infrastructure and human resource development must increase.