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The Role of Food Technology

Opportunities which food technology presents e.g showcase the role of agribotics to help overcome the reduced workforce

In this video, Dr. Thomas Engel, working for John Deere as manager of the technology innovation strategy at the European Technology Innovation Centre in Germany, discusses how innovation and modern technology can increase the productivity and competitiveness of our farmers.

The role of technology

Technological innovations present an opportunity to transform the food system and have the potential to deliver significant positive impacts in food systems by 2030 if scaled properly.

The World Economic Council recently published a report: Innovation with a purpose: The role of technology innovation in accelerating food systems transformation. This report identified 12 emerging technology innovations that have the potential to drive rapid progress in sustainability, inclusiveness, efficiency and health impacts of the food systems and helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

These 12 key technologies include:

  • Precision agriculture for input and water use optimization
  • Gene editing for multi-trait seed improvements
  • Biological-based crop protection and micronutrients for soil management
  • Off-grid renewable energy generation and storage for access to electricity
  • Microbiome technologies to renew crop resilience
  • Internet of things for supply chain transparency and traceability
  • Blockchain enabled traceability
  • Big data and advanced analytics for insurance
  • Mobile service delivery
  • Alternative proteins
  • Food sensing technologies for food safety, quality and traceability
  • Nutragenics for personalised nutrition

The report estimates the concrete benefits which could be delivered in terms of reduced water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and food waste; increased productivity and farmer income; and reduced obesity and undernourishment of consumers.

What we would like you to do

Please share your thoughts on the use of technology to transform the food system

  • Do you think technology can help transform the food system?
  • Can you think of how technology is already used by the food sector?

Please note that due to Covid-19, all our video contributors had to self-record themselves using a laptop or smartphone. As a result, the audio quality is not optimal. We apologise for the inconvenience. Should you want to better understand the video content, we have provided the English audio transcript in the below downloads section.

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