The Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP-CSAM) co-organized the Second ‘International Forum on Sci-Tech Empowering Rural Transformation’ on 6 November 2023 at the UN Compound in Beijing in collaboration with the China Offices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as the China Internet Information Center (CIIC).
The co-organizers of the Forum are also the co-authors of the ‘Sci-Tech Empowering Rural Transformation 2023 Report: 2023 Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ which was officially released during the event. The Report includes 15 inspiring stories and case studies involving young innovators and entrepreneurs from China with special emphasis on digital agricultural machinery, precision agriculture, connecting smallholder farmers to markets, financial empowerment and South-South cooperation.
The report exhibits practical cases of youth innovation emerging in the fields of food and agriculture, showing how young people use technological innovation to save agricultural costs and improve efficiency. Their stories are concrete evidence of youth entrepreneurship and ingenuity in using technology to support development and rural development revitalization, empower young women, and innovation apply to help smallholder farmers access markets. These dimensions of the report were reflected in a panel of speakers from China and Africa, who also showed the inspiration potential of their stories to other developing countries.
CSAM delivered closing remarks highlighting that young entrepreneurs using innovation-driven approaches with integrated methodologies and sci-tech in the agricultural sector can provide creative solutions which are pragmatic, applicable, and sustainable for rural development. As the development of agricultural machinery faces a serious transformation, with new technologies allowing for smaller, more precise and task-focused machinery to be used also by smallholder farmers, eventually at an affordable cost, this will be an important development on the path to ‘leave no one behind’. However, this paradigm shift can only happen with the active engagement of youth, with their ingenuity, flexibility and entrepreneurship.
‘The Sci-Tech Empowering Rural Transformation 2023 Report: 2023 Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ is the Second publication of the series ‘Thematic Study and Knowledge Sharing in the Subject of Sci-Tech Empowering Rural Transformation’ which is jointly initiated by ESCAP-CSAM, FAO Representation in China, IFAD China Office, WFP China, and CIIC. The Report is compiled through joint efforts of CIIC, FAO Representation in China, IFAD China Office, WFP China Centre of Excellence, ESCAP-CSAM, and other partners. The report is available at https://www.un-csam.org/zh-hans/publications/kejifunengxiangcunfazhanxiliezhuantibaogao2023-qingnianchuangxinchuangye