Transformation is necessary to improve agricultural productivity significantly. The world has experienced several previous agricultural transformations. Around 3000 BC, the introduction of irrigation expanded agricultural boundaries. Crop rotation systems developed in the 18th century contributed to higher production levels. The 1940s to 1960s saw the development of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and the 1960s to 1980s saw the use of agricultural machinery become widespread, both of which raised productivity. Currently, smart technologies such as ICT and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming agriculture and improving its productivity levels.

Smart technology in agriculture involves automation and robots, sensor-based environmental control systems, remote sensing for the pinpoint distribution of inputs via drones, the use of power assist suits by elderly farmers and others with physical constraints, and crop damage prediction by artificial intelligence. The use of these tools requires knowledge and training as well as equipment. This e-learning course will introduce the necessary information to utilize smart agricultural technologies effectively.

At the same time, if farmers cannot make a profit, they cannot continue to operate. Smart agriculture is generally more costly than traditional models of production. Higher-quality farm produce therefore must be sold at higher prices, which requires acceptance by consumers. Before introducing smart technology, farmers should conduct cost–benefit analyses to ensure sustainability.

The APO Agricultural Transformation Program is aimed at enhancing food security and meeting future food needs in the Asia-Pacific region through increased productivity, quality, and innovation in agricultural and food systems leading to improved rural livelihoods. In January 2019, APO prepared the Agricultural Transformation Framework as an initiative to propel growth through a holistic approach to building the capacity of member countries to adopt modern technologies and best practices for farm-level transformation.

This course is being organized to train a critical mass of individuals in APO member countries in acquiring with the practical guidance on smart transformation of agriculture, and to promote it in member countries. It will introduce concept of Agricultural Transformation, smart agriculture, precondition to introduce smart agriculture, and smart agriculture’s cost and income.

The Asian Productivity Organization developed this course with the support of Dr. Sakae Shibusawa, Professor emeritus, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan.

Course Instruction

-There are 8 modules in this course. Please start with Module 1 and complete each module in order.

-The recommended timeline to complete each module is:

Days 1-2: Module 1

Days 3-5: Module 2+Quiz 1

Days 6-7: Module 3

Days 8-10: Module 4+Quiz 2

Days 11-12: Module 5

Days 13-14: Module 6

Days 15-16: Module 7

Days 17-19: Module 8+Quiz 3

Day 20: Final Examination

-To confirm your understandings, 3 quizzes are provided. Please answer the questions and check your score for self-evaluation. Please note that the quiz scores have no connection with the final exam results.

-It is recommended that you proceed to the next module only after satisfactory completion of the preceding module.

-After completing all modules, each participant should take the final exam. Remember that you are only allowed to take the final exam once. Please ensure that you have thoroughly understood all modules before taking the final exam.

-After completion of the course the APO will provide e-certificates to successful participants from APO member countries who pass the final exam (minimum passing score is 70%).

Course Objectives

  1. To offer participants practical guidance on the smart transformation of agriculture;
  2. To promote the smart transformation of agriculture in member countries; and
  3. To promote agriculture and food production while contributing to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 1 (ending poverty in all its forms everywhere) and SDG 2 (ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture).

Important Notes:

1) Participants who register to take this course and pass the final examination with a score of 70% or higher will be eligible to receive the APO certificate. Please note that the final examination can be taken only once. Therefore, you decide when you choose to take the examination. Please note that the self-assessment quizzes are for your own evaluation and have no connection with the final examination results.

2) Participants who perform well in this course and receive the APO certificate will be given preference, on a merit basis, for selection to attend the follow-up face-to-face multicountry APO project, provided their nominations are received through the concerned NPOs and slots are available.

3) Notes 1 and 2 are applicable only to participants from APO member countries. Those from nonmember countries are welcome to take the course for self-improvement, although they are not eligible to attend follow-up face-to-face multicountry APO projects.

Course Duration in Hours: 20 hours
Skill Level: Beginner
Upcoming Course: No
New Course: No