The Asian Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture (AFITA) was founded in January 24, 1998 in Wakayama City, Japan. As the Pacific region issues on information technology in agriculture complements with the Asian countries, it has been decided in the AFITA Board Meeting 2018 to rename the association as Asia-Pacific Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture (APFITA).
In 1800, the world’s population was around 1 billion people. Since then it has increased more than sevenfold to reach over 7.7 billion in 2018, and is forecast to top 10 billion by 2050. Despite the massive increase in population, there are still chronic food shortages in developing countries. Developed countries face difficulties in balancing productivity with the environmental requirements. Food supply and demand is now a global issue, and it is almost meaningless to solve the shortage within a single country. Only international solutions of sharing and cooperation for sustainable food productivity can yield positive impactful results.
APFITA believes that information technology can meaningfully contribute to the solution. Information communication technologies such as the Internet are changing our lifestyles and social consciousness, and provide us with a good tool for information sharing. Additionally, Information science can effectively improve production by several models such as crop growth prediction and decision support. Thus, the importance of the studies on agroinformatics is undoubtedly increasing.
Asian countries have the highest human population growth in the world and the requirements on food are abruptly changing from quantity to quality. In addition, Asian countries have their individual agricultural features that are not common in other regions. The rice-dependency and the farming scale are the typical examples. In this conference, sharing such common features, researchers, engineers, administrators and farmers who are interested in the informatization of the Asian and world agriculture, will join together, exchange information and discuss about agroinformatics which will help us to find some key points to solve the world-wide food problems. This spirit is still alive and our APFITA should be devoted for IT issues in agriculture.