News

Uruguay to Enhance Digitalization of Agriculture with IDB Support

The program will make the industry more competitive, with a focus on family farms, women in rural areas, and measures to address climate change.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $6.5 million loan to make Uruguay’s agricultural industry more competitive by digitalizing more services and activities offered by the country’s Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries. The program will place special emphasis on helping family farms and women in rural areas adopt digital tools, as well as on using emerging technologies to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

These resources will further the process of modernizing the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries and of digitally transforming procedures like permits and certificates for transporting agricultural products and registering farmers. They will also improve service to the public via different channels, like social media or intelligent virtual assistants.

For the agricultural sector, the program will involve coordination and management work to stimulate the creation of digital technologies and facilitate access to them. For example, it will launch the AgTech Uruguay Network, a platform focused on climate change that is open to the private sector.

The resources will also be used to provide non-reimbursable financing to farmers for technology projects that promote good environmental practices and climate adaptation. These grants will be awarded via a competitive process.

Additionally, the program will coordinate with the National Institute for Employment and Professional Development to offer training on digital skills for agriculture, with a focus on gender equity. It will also give digital technical assistance to farmers.

Uruguay’s agricultural industry has enjoyed brisk growth over the last 20 years and now accounts for 70% of the country’s exports. However, it is highly vulnerable to climate fluctuations. Although farming in Uruguay has become a high-tech industry, the modernization process has largely left family farms behind. For example, only 8% of family farms have access to advanced technologies such as drones or artificial intelligence.

This program is aligned with digitalizing economies pillar of the Vision 2025, the IDB Group’s roadmap for accelerating recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.