March 2-30, 2021

Theme One of the Global Agriculture Innovation Forum consists of five sessions focused on Farms and Farmers of the Future. The overarching message from these sessions is that innovation is a primary driver of agriculture, and will continue to be a driver in the future. Future innovations will need to ensure that farms of the future are highly productive, use inputs efficiently, and generate products (including food, feed, fiber, fuel, and medicinals) that are safe and wholesome for consumers. Innovations will come from all areas of science and technology and will need to be adopted at scale and adapted to geographies in ways that are responsive and resilient to changes in climate and growing conditions.

The launch session includes remarks from Gerald Shively (Purdue), Robert Bonnie (USDA), and Jim Barnhart (USAID). The four topical sessions that follow feature a total of 25 speakers drawn from around the globe and from a range of institutions. Their ten-minute presentations are followed by 30 minutes of moderated questions and answers. Individual sessions focus on ways farms of the future can be: (i)  efficient in producing wholesome products; (ii) sustainable and climate-smart; (iii) enabled with transformational technologies; and (iv) informed and connected to markets. The take-away message from these sessions is that agricultural innovations must be scalable and must ensure that agricultural systems are resilient and able to adapt to changes, including changes in climate. Furthermore, adaptations will need to be achieved while simultaneously reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture. This is a formidable challenge. To meet it, farmers of the future will need to possess the knowledge and skills to optimize Genotype-Environment-Management interactions.