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February 7, 2017 << back >>

Expert suggests using Public Money to Accelerate Digital Farming

The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020 should mobilize both direct payments and rural development pillars in order to pave the way for the introduction of much-needed digital technologies in the farming sector.

That is the opinion of Ulrich Adam, Secretary General of the European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association (CEMA), recently voiced in an interview with EURACTIV, an independent pan-European media network that covers EU policies. “We need a strong CAP for a strong European agriculture sector. And, in our view, supporting innovation and the digital transformation in farming should be strong elements of the next CAP,” said Adam. The logical conclusion, he explained, would be that the policy support targeted measures for farmers to invest in technologies such as precision or digital farming, which have environmental benefits. And these advantages are proven: A recent modelling exercise by the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) singled out precision agriculture as the technology with the greatest CO2-saving potential in European agriculture through 2030. But to avoid the risk of a digital divide in EU agriculture — since smart farming is, so far, much more widely spread in Northern Europe — Adam advised using the concept of partial digitization. “Even a farmer with old analogue machines can partially digitize them by adding relatively inexpensive digital support tools such as Bluetooth beacons.” Read the full interview at: