Food system innovations and digital technologies to foster productivity growth and rural transformation

This brief looks at food system innovations and digital technologies as important drivers of productivity growth and improved food and nutrition security. The analysis emphasizes a mix of research feasibility and technology-enabling policy factors necessary to realize pro-poor benefits. Given their transformative potential and the urgency of developing the enabling R&D and policy trajectories required for impact, highlight genome editing bio-innovations, specifically CRISPR-Cas9, to address sustainable agricultural growth; and digital technologies, including remote sensing, connected sensors, artificial intelligence, digital advisory services, digital financial services, and e-commerce, to help guide the operations and decision-making of farmers, traders, and policymakers in agricultural value chains. The analysis points to the need to close critical gaps in R&D investments, capabilities, and enabling policies as well as regulations to accelerate the scaling and adoption of innovations.