International and local stakeholders are discussing Ethiopia’s first Digital Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (DAEAS) Roadmap 2030.
The roadmap under discussion envisions ensuring productive, inclusive and sustainable agri-food system through collaborative delivery of customized digital services to all farmers.
In her opening remark to the two-day consultative forum today, Innovation and Technology State Minister Huria Ali said that agriculture is one of the four paths towards prosperity in Digital Ethiopia 2025.
Ethiopia has visibly been moving towards a digital economy across different sectors, including telecom, banking in the past years, she noted, adding that “the DAEAS roadmap is now the concrete plan about how to digitize the agriculture sector and bring prosperity for Ethiopian farmer.”
Solutions pipeline, hardware and connectivity, data and analytics, policy and governance, human capital, and business environment are the roadmap’s six strategic pillars, it was indicated.
Agriculture Minister Oumer Hussein on his part emphasized the importance of digital technology as an engine for the development and prosperity of farmers.
The rapid productivity growth and the competitive nature of agricultural commodities increase in digital services in almost everything, thereby leading to food and nutrition security in the country in a context of population growth and climate change, he stated.
“Digital is a way to provide equal access to information and opportunity for our people. This DAEAS roadmap is about empowering and enabling farmers by providing access to information and letting them chart their own path.”
The agriculture sector could highly benefit from innovative digital solutions, low-tech solutions disseminating agronomic advisory to high-tech tools involving satellite data, digital sensors, and big data analytics.
The minister further pointed out that “increasing agricultural production requires that we fully harness the immense potential of digital technologies that it requires minimum and sustained investment on digital agriculture to produce results that can transform food production and supply system on a sustainable basis.”
Agriculture Transformation Institute CEO, Mandefro Nigussie said the agriculture sector of Ethiopia has started transformational journey and that necessitates significant improvement technology and innovation to ensure sustained growth.
Noting the complex challenges the agriculture sector faces in the country, he stressed the paramount importance of Digital Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (DAEAS) Roadmap 2030.
Mandefro pointed out that the roadmap targets to coordinate resource allocation across several domains such as hardware availability, connectivity, capacity building and policy development.