Data-driven breakthroughs and the future of agriculture at the CGIAR Digital Innovation Workshop

IWMI’s Digital Inclusion Index was a highlight of the workshop.

IWMI’s Digital Inclusion Index was a highlight of the workshop.

By Carolina Martins (IWMI), Mariangel Garcia (IWMI), Deepa Joshi (IWMI) and Aayushi Malhotra (IRRI)

Workshop participants. IRRI
Workshop participants. IRRI

Encouraging innovation and inclusivity in the agriculture sector was the focus of experts and other stakeholders during the “National Stakeholder Consultation Workshop on Digital Innovation and Inclusion” held in New Delhi. Organized as part of the CGIAR Initiative on Digital Innovation, it brought together research teams from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), along with knowledge-management partners CRISP. The workshop explored advancements in digital agriculture with experts and stakeholders from across India, representing NGOs, research organizations, and digital policy makers.

Aayushi Malhotra of IRRI set the context for the workshop, emphasizing the transformative potential of digital technologies in agriculture. A highlight of the meeting was IWMI’s Digital Inclusion Index (DII), presented by Carolina Martins and Felix Opola, showcasing a tool designed to enhance inclusivity in digital innovations. The DII, with its comprehensive framework, aims to ensure equitable access for all, especially underserved communities, to set a new standard in agricultural technology.

Group discussions looked at the complexities and practical applications of the DII, including its parameters, user perspectives and implementation strategies. This provided valuable feedback for the refinement of the Index, sharpening its alignment with stakeholder needs and market realities.

Presentations, rich with real-world innovations and experiences, also highlighted good practices, on the challenges and opportunities in digital agriculture. They included IRRI’s Preeti Bharti on the dissemination of the Rice Crop Manager and Shalini Gakhar’s (IRR) insights into digital platforms and services.

Reflection and feedback sessions, facilitated by Deepa Joshi (IWMI) and Rasheed Sulaiman (CRISP), identified avenues for future collaboration and innovation, while Aayushi Malhotra closed out the day by emphasizing the importance of ongoing collaboration in digital innovation and inclusion.

Further reading: 

The digital divide for food, land and water systems: What is it and what can be done?

Beyond the digital divide: A multi-dimensional approach to enabling digital inclusivity in food, land, and water systems 


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