IICA promotes greater technology use to boost Colombia’s agricultural competitiveness

San José, December 2, 2019 (IICA). Representatives from Colombia’s Ministries of Agriculture and of Technology, as well as from the National Council of Secretaries of Agriculture, private enterprise and academia pledged to support the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in creating an innovation center to boost competitiveness and provide technological solutions to challenges facing rural areas in the country.

The commitment was made during a workshop on digital technologies, organized by the IICA Delegation in Colombia, which sought to analyze the benefits and challenges of implementing digital agriculture or agriculture 4.0 in the country. 

For three days, the participants discussed public policies, the available digital services in Colombia and the strengthening of digital technologies.

This workshop is one of IICA’s first initiatives to promote the adoption of technologies such as drones and satellite imagery, which would enable rural areas to increase their competitiveness and would facilitate digital transformation in the agriculture sector.

Emmanuel Picado, Manager of IICA’s Information and Communication Technologies and Digital Agriculture Division, emphasized that, “These efforts will reduce the existing disparities in the democratization of technology. We must empower and train producers in the proper use of these tools”.

The activity was also attended by representatives from the National Council of Secretaries of Agriculture of Colombia (CONSA), the Uniminuto Social Innovation Science Park, Hispasat, Telefónica, the Ministries of Agriculture and of Information and Communication Technologies, as well as by professors from the National University of Colombia and from the University of Cordoba’s Master’s program in Digital Transformation in the agriculture and forestry sectors, in Spain.

“We urgently need to undertake a process of innovation and digitalization, involving the widespread use of sensors, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, precision agriculture, Big Data and artificial intelligence”, said Humberto Oliveira, IICA Representative in Colombia.

He maintained that, “Local and national authorities must play a pivotal role in establishing and defining the Center for Digital Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Territories, in close collaboration with the agriculture sector and stakeholders from the rural milieu and the innovation ecosystem”.

Colombia has taken a critical step with the Agricultural Innovation Law, which will facilitate a significant improvement in the connectivity of rural areas in the country.

About IICAIICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.
More information:
Humberto Oliveira, IICA Representative in Colombia.humberto.oliveira@iica.int

Emmanuel Picado, Manager of Information and Communication Technologies and Digital Agriculture, IICA.