“Smart Farming – The future of farmers” was the title of the TV broadcast AgroWeek that was broadcasted on Saturday, January 26th by the Greek state TV channel ΕΡΤ3. Mr. Fotis Chatzipapadopoulos, President of NEUROPUBLIC S.A. and Mr. Panagiotis Kakafikas, Vice President of Agrotiki Kainotomia & President of Aeiforiki S.A. were invited to present their views on smart farming.
The need for evolution from precision agriculture to smart farming
Among others, Mr. Chatzipapadopoulos referred to the need that led to the evolution of precision agriculture into smart farming, which is applied in countries such as Greece, with smaller agricultural holdings, fragmented parcels etc., and stated that Greece is now among the leaders in smart farming at European level.
Mr. Chatzipapadopoulos explained the way in which smart farming highlights the role of the agronomist and the farmer in the decision making process for optimizing the production, as it is heavily based on their experience.
He specifically mentioned agricultural advisors who, through smart farming, take on a more scientific role based on the collection and interpretation of data as well as on the guidance of farmers.
Smart Farming, making use of technology, allows us to optimize the decisions we take every day at the field
Last but not least, he referred to the environmental benefits from the adoption of smart farming, by rationalizing inputs and optimizing the use of natural resources and also spoke about the key role of smart farming, and the digitization of agriculture in general, in the future Common Agricultural Policy which will come in place by 2020.
The benefits for producers
On his part, Mr. Kakafikas, from the perspective of the smart farming advisor, pointed out that smart farming allows for better use of inputs, improved product quality and added value of the production, which translates into increased profit for the producer.
He also explained that smart farming comes to support the existing quality systems and standards, by facilitating the quantification of various parameters required by these systems, through the digitization of production.
The cost of adopting a smart farming system
The two speakers also referred to the cost of adopting a smart farming system, which is affordable even for smallholder farmers who make up the majority in Greece and other EU countries, compared to the investments in technological equipment that a farmer is asked to make in the case of other systems – and the aforementioned cost is covered by the added value gained through their production.
Smart farming provides the tools for the measurement of parameters that neither the farmer nor his agricultural advisor πcan perceive using their eyes
During the broadcast, producer Mr. Evangelos Arampatzis talked about how smart farming helps producers to address the needs of his crops in the best possible way and improve his production.
He also referred to the importance of the reduced environmental footprint for the exports of an agricultural cooperative, as it is a key criterion for buyers abroad, and therefore acts as an “export passport” for these markets.
Greece is a pioneer in smart farming topics and paves the way for other EU countries
You can watch the full AgroWeek broadcast through the ERT3 TV.