OREANDA-NEWS. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will leverage synergies to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The principals of the two organizations, Houlin Zhao (ITU) and Jose Graziano da Silva (FAO), signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that seeks to facilitate the development of e-Agriculture policies and regulations as well as ICT-centric innovation clusters that strengthen national and regional agricultural competitiveness.

The MoU is also aimed at enhancing the capacity of rural communities to adopt and use ICTs in agriculture, climate change monitoring and disaster-prevention.

"ICTs have a huge potential to support rural development, increase the resilience of rural families, improve access of farmers to markets and other services, and empower women and youth. ICTs will help ensure that the rural population is not left behind," said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva.

"ITU looks forward to working more closely with FAO to promote and facilitate the development of valuable e-Agriculture policies, strategies and plans, as well as the development and sharing of ideas, resources and ICT solutions aimed to increase livelihood of rural communities. A priority will be the fostering of digital skills among women and youth in the agriculture sector," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.