FAO seeks to implement digital solutions in Jamaica, The Bahamas and Belize
05 July 2023
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), through its initiative 1000 Digital Villages in Latin America and the Caribbean, is collaborating with the public and private sectors of Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize to design and develop programmes focused on promoting digitalization of agriculture services in the rural sector.
In the case of Belize, the initiative is working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Business to prepare an internal digitalization strategy and to digitize a training programme for the staff of the Ministry's Department of Cooperatives.
Another of the outputs will be the creation of two applications. The first will be to support the extension service offered by ministry professionals and will be linked to the Belize Agricultural Information Management System (BAIMS) platform. The second will seek to advance the digitalization of the Belize Agricultural Price Information System (BAPIS) and speed up the collection and analysis of information. Both products include training for officials responsible for managing these digital tools and for stakeholders and users of the relevant sector data.
In the case of the Bahamas, the proposal focuses on bringing connectivity and digital tools to five rural communities that have significant difficulties in accessing markets and in their production processes. To do this, the first step will be to identify digital solutions that can be adapted to different value chains. In addition, a policy framework will be developed to continue supporting farmers in the implementation of digital technologies.
In the first stage, FAO will work together with the country's Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs to identify the needs and appropriate solutions for each community. However, in the future, it is expected that private-sector institutions will also support the implementation of the project. For this reason, some NGOs have been identified as potential project partners.
In Jamaica, FAO has partnered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to create a digital platform for farmers to more easily plan their production and organize the logistics of delivering their products.
The project aims to incorporate a strong inclusive approach and it is expected that 60 per cent of participants will be women and young farmers.
Crispim Moreira, the FAO Representative in these three countries, noted that "by promoting digital platforms and marketplaces, FAO can help farmers in Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize access broader markets, connect with buyers, negotiate fair prices and reduce post-harvest losses".
Each of these examples reflects FAO's efforts to promote the transformation of agri-food systems that are more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.
FAO seeks to implement digital solutions in Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize