Parallel Session 8.4: Digital agriculture to leapfrog adaptation pathways (CCAFS)


Digital agriculture encompasses an array of technologies, channels, and analytic capabilities that are applied to make farming more precise, productive, and profitable. Digitization of farming systems, based on true interactivity with farmers over digital channels, is becoming critical for adaptation to climate change. The precise management of production factors made possible by digital technologies can improve the cost-efficiency of input use while helping to boost productivity per unit of land. Big data, generated in the pursuit of farming intensification on individual farms, can enable analyses on a larger scale that can inform adaptation planning across landscapes or regions. Combining climate information with good quality, site-specific data on factors such as on soil fertility and erosion risk enables implementers to make decisions which take into account the sustainable productive potential of land in the near and long term. However, until today the opportunities offered by digital agriculture have not been effectively utilized for adaptation decision making in developing countries. This session will outline the key opportunities to apply digital agriculture solutions in adaptation planning, provide examples of successful implementation and discuss challenges and opportunities to achieve scale.

Session objectives

  • Showcase opportunities offered by digital agriculture to leapfrog adaptation pathways.
  • Discuss the business and economic case for investing in digital agriculture.
  • Identify challenges and opportunities to achieve scale with digital agriculture.

Expected outcomes

  • Secure inputs from stakeholders to a forthcoming supplement to the NAP technical guidelines, with a focus on digital agriculture.

Draft agenda

  • Welcome and video screening: 10 innovations to advance African agriculture for food and climate security ( (Annawati van Paddenburg, Head of Sustainable Landscapes, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)) (10 min)
  • The case for digital agriculture in National Adaptation Planning (Ana Maria Loboguerrero Rodriguez, Head of Global Policy Research, CCAFS) (15 min)
  • Panel discussion: Leapfrogging adaptation pathways through digital agriculture (30 min)

          ‘Chat show’ moderated by Annawati van Paddenburg, with panellists:

  1. Rebecca Carter, Deputy Director, Climate Resilience Practice, World Resources Institute
  2. Ram Kiran Dhulipala, Theme Leader – Digital Agriculture and Youth, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
  3. Theresa Wong, Climate Change Technical Specialist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  4. Joseph Intsiful, Senior Climate Information and Early Warning Systems specialist, Green Climate Fund
  • Moderated Q&A with the audience (25 min)
  • Closing remarks from all panelists (5 min)
  • Final remarks and wrap up (Annawati van Paddenburg) (5 min)

Sectoral issues