Digitalisation in agriculture: Mission impossible?

engineering digitalisation

The German Agriculture Ministry and the European Agricultural Research Initiative examined what politics and research can do to effectively tackle the problem of digitalisation in agriculture.

Since the pandemic started, there has been a real digital boost in many areas. However, digitalisation is not making progress everywhere. In agriculture, it is often still in its infancy. At best, large farms have comprehensive IT that digitally records feeding quantities, orders, or logistics. Smaller family-run businesses are still a long way off. Digitalisation could make a contribution to environmental protection and more sustainability in this sector.

The theme of this year’s conference of the non-governmental organisation EURAGRI is digitalisation. According to Bettina Heimann, digitization at any price is not reasonable, however, research can help discover where the gaps are and then fill them. Another big problem is related with the data, in fact data policy issues need to be clarified quickly to prevent large farms from increasing their market power based on their data. Large amounts of data can help keep land and livestock healthy. For this reason Rainer  Spiering and his group therefore demand that financial resources be made available to farmers for digital data collection and that they in turn make their landscape and environmental protection data available.

Discussions on the EU’s future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are currently taking place with a key question being how the CAP can promote sustainable agriculture going forward.  At the conference, representatives from politics, research, industry and agricultural practice will have the opportunity to discuss the important issues of digitalisation.

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