• fr
  • en

How ICT is going to change the agro food sector in the next ten years?

The Mission of Switzerland to the European Union organised a short conference on “How ICT is going to change the agro-food sector in the next ten years” on the 15th July 2015 in Brussels. The development of the Internet and easier access to mobile applications, drones and other Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) at a cheaper price have allowed an important development of ICTs in the agro-food sector. Four panellists involved in the sector of agriculture discussed about the impact that ICTs have in the agro food business.

What are the opportunities provided by ICT in the agro-food sector?

As explained Pierre Treinen, Director of the Rural Economy Office of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ICT are especially useful in precision farming in terms of getting accurate data on the inputs needed, which helps in using resources in a more efficient way (less pesticides for instance in the crops or adapting the feedstuffs of the cows depending on the precised analyse of the nutriments of the milk produced) and in having the less impact on environment as possible. It fosters a more sustainable agriculture and it can reduce the costs for the farmers (when using lower inputs for a better quality of the product).

Using ICTs opens new opportunities to sell products: time and place are reinvented thanks to the Internet, according to Professor Krijn J. Pope, business economist at the Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI) in the Wageningen University and Research Centre in The Hague. Thus the food supply chains are organised in a new way, encouraging shorter supply chains with direct links between the producers and the consumers. A mobile application can for instance put directly in contact the consumers with the farms who are directly selling their products.

In addition, data collected could also help the reinsurance companies to predict the loss assessments in advance and to have better modelling and trend predicting, as explained David Mäder, Rural Development Manager and Product manager for Agriculture in the Swiss Reinsurance Company in Switzerland. The aggregation of data helps to have a more macro-level monitoring and facilitates the anticipation of losses in case of unexpected events (storms – droughts …).

Challenges to overcome for a better use of ICTs in the agro-food sector.

Most of the ICTs are using directly the Internet, so a high-speed Internet connection is needed. In 2013 only 25.1% of rural areas were covered by the Next Generation Access (NGA = at least 30 Mbps) compared to 68.1% in urban areas, thus the use of ICTs are embedded by the poor quality of the connections, particularly in the mountainous remote areas.

ICTs allow an easy collection of data. But the question of the ownership of the data (the farmers directly, the software, the government or the paying agencies?) and the question of the aggregation of the data facilitating  an easy analysis of all the data collected are challenges still remaining. Indeed, data need to be collected in a harmonised way to allow further analysis at regional or national level and these data should sometimes be analysed by experts. Strong links between researchers and farmers are thus needed to facilitate the links between the collection of the data, their analysis and what could be useful for the farmers on the ground.

In addition, there is a gap of generation between young farmers, who are easily willing to use ICTs and to share their data, and older farmers, who sometimes remain reluctant to their use. To facilitate the use of ICTs by all, several measures could be envisaged: training in agricultural schools such as in Luxembourg, using advisory organisations that can help older farmers in using the ICTs or increasing the networking between researchers and farmers to encourage innovation adapted to the needs of all farmers.

Finally, following questions asked by Euromontana, the panellists shortly presented two ICTs particularly useful for mountain areas. Indeed in Switzerland, as detailed Adrian Aebi, Deputy Director General in the Federal Office for Agriculture in Switzerland, many farmers are doing direct marketing on webpages and on mobile applications, promoting the pastures and the good quality of the grass eaten by the cows, which produced the milk used for their famous cheeses. Another example was a mobile application that could facilitate the localisation and monitoring of animals when they are spread on large fields or pastures.

 It is expected that more and more ICTs will be used in the coming years and the panellists encouraged the European Commission to facilitate the aggregation and standardisation of data at EU level, for instance through a research project.

23 July 2015

Euromontana sur Facebook

4 days ago

🌄🌄“Telework is not sufficient to attract youth in mountains.” says Carla Lostrangio, Euromontana. “We need to invest in employment, educational and cultural offers, mobility and broadband. The funds of the Cohesion Policy shall be used for that. “ Stimulating afternoon discussion organised by Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa and Il Sole 24 ORE with great inputs from Filippo barbera and Francesco Martino. #Montana174 #CohesionPolicy #Mountains ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

4 days ago

❗🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Rural #braindrain: How can the Cohesion Policy help reverse the trend? This was the topic of our discussion today at the European Parliament together with the Integroup RUMRA & Smart Villages, MEP Hannes Heide, Vesna Caminades from the Bolzano-South Tyrol Autonomous Region and Blandine Camus, Euromontana. We looked at how👇: ✴️Awareness on funds and more investments on mobility can make mountains more attractive to youth & workers✴️Cultural and educational offers disclose job opportunities, such as marketing and cultural management, and reduce outmigration ✴️Concrete recommendations to counter brain drain by Euromontana, starting from the funds of the #CohesionPolicy #Montana174 #Mountains #EuropeanYearofYouth ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

5 days ago

⏳ A few days left to get your early bird ticket for the XII European Mountain Convention! 🌄👉2 days of conference to define the future of #SmartMountains👉3 study visits to discover the region👉The Euromontana General Assembly ℹ️ Programme & registration: www.emc2022.info/‼️ Registration is open for the XII European Mountain Convention 🌄Innovation, governance, mobility, natural resources, digital transition & more ➡️ Join us to define a strategy for the development of SmartMountains towards 2050Programme & registration 👇👉 www.emc2022.info/Cia - Agricoltori Italiani | Regione Calabria | Parco Nazionale della Sila | G.A.L. SILA | GAL Sibaritide | Gal Kroton | Mountain Partnership ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

1 week ago

This week we brought the voice of mountain areas at the EU Food & Farming Rural Pact conference! 🌄Key messages from our President Juanan Gutierrez:👉 ”What is crucial for the success of Rural Pact is to bring the voice of rural communities in their diversity, including mountains, islands & remote area”👉 "Euromontana can help to deliver on the Rural Pact. We will continue to further promote cooperation between mountain areas to find solutions for our specific challenges”👉 “We will discuss the 🇪🇺 Long Term Vision for Rural Areas & the Rural Pact at our XII European Mountain Convention on Smart Mountains in Oct 2022 to bring on board mountain territories & stakeholders” ℹ️ emc2022.infoConference outcomes soon available at ⬇️ec.europa.eu/info/events/the-rural-pact-conference-2022-jun-15_enHAZI ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

Euromontana sur Twitter

We’re still looking for papers on harnessing #digitalization for #SustainableFutures of #mountain #SocialEcologicalSystems. What works, how does it work, what risks are there?

We’ve extended the due date: Submit by 1 August 2022! https://t.co/NxyLlKa3VY


La Oficina @aragon_Bruselas ha asistido al evento #RuralBrainDrain organizado por @Euromontana. Junto con @HannesHeide, europarlamentario austriaco, y con miembros de otras regiones europeas hemos dialogado sobre la fuga de cerebros y como mitigar la disminución de la población.


How to fight #BrainDrain in mountain areas?🌄

🔸Economic diversification
🔸Change of mindsets
🔸Strategies to attract young graduates back
🔸Analysis of COVID-19 impact

More recommendations in our position paper👇

#EUYearofYouth #MountainsMatter

🌄El presidente de #Euromontana y trabajador de HAZI reivindica el valor de la montaña en la PAC

"La montaña produce bienes públicos o intangibles que son aprovechados por toda la ciudadanía y no está necesariamente reconocida"


vía @msn_es

"Europe is decided in the rural areas. #Brexit is an example of that. The UK's cities voted for remain", @HannesHeide says at joint RUMRA & @Euromontana event @Europarl_EN

Load More...