AI for Good blog

New standards steering digital agriculture

Food | Innovation & Creativity

The next wave of technological progress to sustain the world’s fastgrowing global population will capitalize on artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the precision and sustainability of farming techniques.

AI, IoT, connected services and autonomous systems together enable farmers to make decisions at the level of a single square metre or individual plant or animal, rather than entire fields or all livestock. This precision allows wellinformed interventions that ultimately improve agricultural sustainability by helping farmers produce more, with less.

A new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Focus Group dedicated to “AI and IoT for digital agriculture” will examine emerging cyberphysical systems as groundwork for standardization to stimulate their deployment for agriculture worldwide.

“The projection that our planet will host 9.7 billion people by 2050 necessitates significant technological progress to sustain so many lives,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “This new focus group is the beginning of a global drive to ensure equitable access to the new capabilities emerging in agriculture with advances in digital technology.”

The focus group will work in close collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which mobilizes international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. Under the group’s purview will be new capabilities to discern complex patterns from a growing volume of agricultural and geospatial data; improve the acquisition, handling, and analysis of these data; enable effective decision-making; and guide interventions to optimize agricultural production processes.

Register here for the upcoming AI for Good Webinar with FAO, “Towards digital agriculture: Expanding on the AI and IoT paradigm.”


“New digital capabilities offer us a unique and immediate opportunity to transform food systems and accelerate impact towards zero hunger. The new focus group will significantly contribute towards these efforts, bringing together AI and IoT as key enablers behind new capabilities for digital agriculture.” Dejan Jakovljevic, Chief Information Officer and Director of FAO’s Digitalization and Informatics Division said.

The envisaged study aims to support global progress in areas such as precision farming, predictive analytics for smart farming, the optimization of cultivable acreage, remote cattle monitoring and management, agricultural robotics and greenhouse automation…

Click here to read the full article and download the special issue on AI for Good in ITU News Magazine.

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