From January 17th to 20th, 2019, Theo De Jager, in his capacity of President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), attended the 11th Global Forum on Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin, joining several panels and roundtables to make the farmers’ voice be heard louder and clearer in the debate.
The conference was an excellent opportunity for networking and capacity building.
In a nutshell, this is what happened at GFFA2019!
On Thursday January 17th, WFO hosted the expert panel discussion "DIGITAL SOLUTIONS FOR FARMING TODAY – HOW DOES TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION MATCH WITH YOUNG FARMERS´ NEEDS?”.
All participants explored from different perspectives what concrete opportunities digitalisation offers for agriculture and what are the risks, with a particular interest in needs and expectations of young farmers.
"My generation played with soap box cars. That’s how we learned to work with mechanical tools. My son's generation plays with Xbox and learns how to work with digital tools. Future is not as it used to be" remarked De Jager, during his speech, highlighting the importance of keeping up with new data streams.
On the same date, De Jager spoke at the expert panel discussion “BIG DATA FOR TRANSFORMING SMALLHOLDER AGRICULTURE” organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Representing farmers from all over the world, De Jager addressed the critical issue of ensuring data rights, data ownership, and data governance for smallholder agricultural transformation.
“With access to farmers’ profiles, farmers’ organisations can connect farmers to markets, improve logistics, communication, and access to credit. This helps them sell more crops and generate better incomes for smallholder farmers”, highlighted De Jager during his speech.
This year, for the first time, WFO was admitted at the table of the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference together with national delegations and international organisations.
Furthermore, the over 70 Ministers of Agriculture from all over the world attending the Conference issued an official communique to affirm their support to farmers through digital innovation, stressing the importance, among others, of establishing, expanding and protecting the access of farmers to digital technologies, as well as improving data use, ensuring data security and data sovereignty.