(Ahmed Ibrahim-Neimat Al-Naiem-Mohamed Babikir) - Recently and at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum, a large gathering of experts
in the sphere of agriculture had attended and addressed the 1st International Smart Agriculture Forum- ISF 2018, conspicuous among them were; the presidential aide, Faisal Hassan Ibrahim, who said that smart agriculture is a transformational point to cope with the challenges of growing population, thus being immediately dealt with, affirming that such a technology was meant to realize the aspired for sustainable development.
He concluded his remarks by pledging that all the recommendations of ISF 2018 would be implemented.
The Sudan's Minister of Agriculture, Hasab Al Nabi Musa, said that smart agriculture was intended to preserve the environment, to realize quick growth and productivity, affirming that their program of 2019-2022 would witness digital transformation in the domain of agriculture.
He went on to mention some illuminating and successful stories in the domain of smart agriculture; Al Rajhi Company and Dr. Al-Mutaafi.
Prof. Ibrahim Al-Dikhairi, Director General of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, disclosed that smart agriculture was about digital technology to vigorously develop agriculture to advanced levels, noting that the idea of smart agriculture was triggered by the initiative of president Al Bashir that stressed on that Sudan would be the food basket, especially regionally.
Bushara Jum'a Aro, Minister of Information and Communication technology, said that if they were to handle appropriately the smart technology in agriculture, the result would be really marvelous; realization of sustainable development which in turn would lead to the realization of the greater Sudan, especially economically.
Secretary general of Arab organization for Information Technology and Communication, Mohamed bin Omar, indicated that the aim of smart agriculture was to see the Arab and African countries benefitting from and getting exposed to the illuminating experiences of others in this area.
The chairperson of Strategic Administration of the Middle East District and the North of Africa, Amar Hamadein, said that smart agriculture was to provide the farmers with the correct information based on which they would be in a position to take the appropriate decisions.
Tariq Hamza Zein Al Abideen, executive chairperson of Sudatel Group for Communication, said that only through the introduction of the smart agriculture, hunger and poverty could be totally got rid of, explaining that they in Sudatel had pledge to take the responsibility to train 100 farmers. ‘Because through smart agriculture, the farmers will possess the adequate information regarding all the agricultural stages, especially in areas of production and marketing.
Amir Khidir Al Bayati, Deputy Iraqi Minister for Communication, said that they aspired to see the agricultural mechanisms as so efficient to overcome all obstacles associated with agriculture. He went on to praise the initiative of Sudan as being the breadbasket for the Arab world, adding that such a thing was not without support, especially politically on part of the Sudanese official authorities.
Jordanian Minister of Agriculture, Khalid Hineifat, said bearing in mind that there were about 800 million persons who had been suffering from shortage in food, especially in the rural areas, smart agriculture would function as the genuine way out from the sorry impasse.
Kamal Al Din Hassan Ali, Assistance Secretary General and Chairperson of Economic Affairs sector of the Arab league, stressed ‘the economy of knowledge’ as the most important approach to overcome all the ills that were associated with the traditional agriculture, pointing out that Sudan would be the genuine rescuer from the miserable situation.
During the forum, some videos were presented which tackled very crucial and illuminating points about smart agriculture whose contents read as follows:
We are living in the era of e-transformation being driven by the emergence of many new
concepts related to internet development, like: Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things …etc.
Many studies predict that, by 2020, the number of connected devices and objects will reach 50 billion. Accordingly, it seems that the future will be for the Internet of Things technology based on the declarations to provide significant benefits for humanity.
Because of this revolutionary smart technology, a smooth transformation from traditional agricultural methods to a modern agriculture is becoming a reality. So, farmers can remotely monitor their crop and equipment by phones and computers. They will be able to reduce waste and enhance productivity. Indeed, Smart Agriculture or Smart Farming based on the applications and solutions of the Internet of Things and any other new technologies will result in agricultural sustainability and the food security. Worldwide, the Agriculture development is deemed as the most powerful tool to end poverty and to provide job opportunities. Research analysis conducted by the World Bank has found that about 65% of poor working adults in the rural areas derive their livelihoods from agriculture (2016) and that Agriculture is also crucial to economic growth: in 2014, it accounted for one-third of global gross-domestic product (GDP).
Agriculture is facing globally and especially in the Arab and African regions too many Constraint issues and challenges such as climate change, water crises and shortages with a heavy negative impact on food safety and security.
It is clear that we cannot deal effectively with all these issues with the traditional and already available solutions. What is needed at this level is a serious review of the agricultural situation and to find out new and sustainable ways for development.
The 1st Inter-Regional Smart Agriculture Forum aims to initiate an Inter-Regional dialogue about new technology trends by gathering high level personalities from the Arab, African regions and internationally to:
* Emphasize the role of technologies in agricultural development within the Arab and African regions
* Appraise "Smart Agriculture" role in bridging the digital divide within the Arab and African farmers.
* Increasing the awareness of Arab and African governments about the need of developing a strong capacity building plans.
* Boost the inter-regional and international cooperation in the field of Smart farming in an endeavor to coordinate efforts and come up with sustainable solutions for the future of the agricultural sector.
* Indeed, the forum is not void of entertainment programs. A Sudanese singer accompanied by musical band was availed the chance through singing to portray and encourage values that relate to produce in abundance to satisfy the needs of the poor and the hungry.