ESCAP-CSAM Joins Endeavour for Promoting Science-Technology-Powered Transformation in Rural Areas

Meeting Documents

The Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP-CSAM) successfully co-organized the ‘2022 International Forum on Digital Technology Empowering Rural Transformation’ via virtual modality on 25-29 November 2022 in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Representation in China, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) China Office, World Food Programme (WFP) China, China Internet Information Center (CIIC) and other partners.


At the Opening Ceremony of the Forum, the ‘Sci-Tech Empowering Rural Transformation 2022 Report: Digital Technology Empowers Agricultural Value Chain Development’ was officially released. The Report examines the development trends on science and technology-powered transformation in rural areas by showcasing applications of cutting-edge technologies such as digital and intelligent technologies in China with special emphasis on innovative practices and approaches which are pragmatic, applicable and sustainable for rural development.


The Report illustrates that digital agriculture and smart agricultural mechanization technologies can remarkably improve operations in agricultural production. It can help achieve more precise farm operations in seeding, fertilization and pesticides-spraying, reducing food loss, facilitating harvesting and sowing in a timely fashion, conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions, as well as tackling the problem of shortage of the agricultural workforce. Digital agriculture and smart mechanization can substantially enhance agricultural productivity, improve output, and optimize the utilization of natural resources.

The Report also highlights the important role of digital technology that can not only bring about significant transformative changes in agricultural production, but also catalyze agricultural value chain development through adoption of digitally-enabled business models and patterns such as e-commerce which have been a new engine for the rural economy. Moreover, the Report notes the rapid expansion and momentum of digitalized financial services including digital financing, digital insurance and credit for the benefit of the rural population, particularly, for smallholder farmers.


Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Anshuman Varma, Deputy Head of ESCAP-CSAM, congratulated other partners on the publication of the Report and reiterated the importance of strengthened efforts for knowledge sharing and exchange among countries in the Asia-Pacific region including China for the advancement of innovative technologies and practices such as mechanization-based digital and intelligent technologies applied in agri-food production through South-South Cooperation. This will help reinforce capacities and resilience in the agricultural sector and related spheres for safeguarding food security, promoting poverty reduction as well as addressing climate change challenges in the region. 

‘The Sci-Tech Empowering Rural Transformation 2022 Report: Digital Technology Empowers Agricultural Value Chain Development Report’ is the first 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 in China including AliResearch and the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion.