Establishing a unified understanding of digital interventions for inclusive agriculture

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 4, 2023 — In a significant step towards fostering digital innovation and inclusion in agriculture, the CGIAR Digital Innovation (DI) Initiative team from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) organized a one-day National Stakeholder Consultation workshop which garnered active participation from key stakeholders within India’s evolving digital ecosystem.

The workshop brought together practitioners, experts, and delegates from renowned non-profit organizations, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and agri-tech companies that have been instrumental in propelling the digital agriculture revolution in India in varying capacities.

Digitalization is increasingly influencing the way agri-food systems operate. However, the digital transformation process continues to remain uneven in both geographic and socioeconomic contexts. To deal with the issue and reduce digital divide, the DI Initiative has developed a Digital Inclusion Index (DII) as its flagship output that aims to provide standard metrics and guidelines for enabling and evaluating digital inclusiveness. ​Increased awareness for the (DII) was among the primary goals for the conduct of the stakeholder consultation.

Researchers from IWMI presented a preliminary version of the index to the participants for feedback, validation, and potential revisions that could help in developing its beta version, in preparation for its rollout. The workshop served as a platform to gauge stakeholders’ receptiveness to the index and assess the inclusivity of the digital solutions and innovations they are currently involved in. Based on the degrees of engagement and types of innovations and services provided by these organizations, the idea of inclusion is extensive and varied. Deliberations during the workshop highlighted the sporadic and scattered nature of on-going efforts in optimizing the innovations for better reach and adoption. It reinforced the necessity for a unified and high-level evaluation approach exemplified by the…

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