Agricultural and food technology innovation is crucial for inclusive rural and structural transformation – if marginalized and poor communities and small-scale farmers can adopt and adapt with them. There is however, a scarcity of data of the success and scalability of new and emerging technology and automation options.

This section presents selected data on key trends in technology:

  1. Trends in investment in agricultural R&D
  2. Adoption and distribution of ICTs
  3. Adoption and distribution of key emerging technologies

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Agricultural R&D

Agricultural R&D (as a share of agricultural GDP) in Asia is below 1%, and in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is more dependent on development partners.

World Tractor Fleet

60% of the world’s tractor fleet (30 million tractors) is used in Europe and in the European offshoots (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), nearly 10 % in Japan and South Korea, and the rest of the world sharing the remaining 30 % (23 % in Asia, 6 % in Latin America, and less than 1 % in sub-Saharan Africa)


Low-cost mobile phones and the expansion of telecommunication infrastructure means that most countries have more than 90% of their population served by at least a mobile phone signal.

Production Systems

Emerging technological innovations have the potential to drive rapid progress towards transforming our food systems for delivering on sustainability and health.

Big Data and Mapping

The Gridded Livestock of the World (GLW 3) database reflects the most recent compilation of subnational livestock distribution for 2010. Such datasets are crucial for developing and supporting sustainable development in the livestock sector. The image above shows the sheep subsection of the dataset.