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Shift into Digital Agriculture: CEMA welcomes Member States’ Draft Declaration supporting technology uptake in EU farming


Brussels, 11th of March 2019 – ‘A smart and sustainable digital future for European agriculture and rural areas’ is the title of the Draft Declaration (click here) presented today by the European Commission to the Council’s Special Committee on Agriculture.

The European Agricultural Machinery Industry strongly supports a clear commitment from the 28 Member States of the European Union to encourage a further technology uptake into European Farming and promote precision & digital farming technologies into the Future CAP 2020.

On this, CEMA President Anthony Van der Ley commented, “over the years our industry has been at the forefront of this technology revolution. Providing European farmers with the right working tools & latest digital technology can definitely help in addressing environmental challenges, improving farming practices and sustaining economic benefits for farmers’ businesses.”

Farming technologies together with the growing potential of Artificial Intelligence, 5G or upcoming robotics are some of the key elements that can transform farming and enable better decision making. “The uptake of digital technologies has a positive impact on farmers’ quality of life but also on the way they run farms’ operations. Digital technologies should be available to farmers and farms of all size and may help attract younger generations, which remains one of the main social concerns affecting this sector today” pointed out Jerome Bandry, CEMA Secretary General.

Digital technologies can be applied from seeding to harvesting as well as in livestock management, activity where they are currently most adopted. “However, to unleash their full potential some challenges need to be tackled: promoting digital skills trainings, ensuring a reliable broadband network or supporting strategic investments in new technologies need to be part of European public policies, such as the CAP or Research, to make digital farming a reality,” concluded Van der Ley.

CEMA calls on EU Member States to endorse this Declaration and urges policy-makers to set-up concrete actions in the near future for the benefit & support of Agriculture in Europe.

CEMA & the promotion of Digital Farming Technologies

In the recent years, CEMA has carried several actions to promote the value of Precision & Digital Farming technologies developed by the Agricultural Machinery Industry in Europe. From an Educational exhibition at the EP to two series of demo farm visits, a joint EU Code of conduct on agricultural data-sharing, the participation on H2020 projects such as “Smart AKIS” , “IoF2020” or “Smart Agri Hubs” as well as producing several Position Papers on the issue that can be found at www.cema-agri.org.

In the past months, a survey has been jointly developed by CEMA, DG Agri, COPA-COGECA, Joint Research Centre, Eurostat & European Environment Agency to collect relevant data on Precision Agriculture Technologies among different actors (farmers, agricultural machinery, public authorities, agricultural contractors) involved in EU Agriculture. CLICK HERE

The part of the survey developed specifically for the ag machinery industry is looking to assess the economic, environmental and social performance that the usage of Precision Farming Technologies can have in European farms. The collected data is intended to bring facts & figures that can provide a real picture of the situation of Precision Agricultural Technologies adoption by EU farmers and a better orientation under the Common Agricultural Policy, Digital or Research Policies to foster its uptake. Results are expected by summer 2019.

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