Great reception at the National Forum on Robotic Applications and Artificial Intelligence applied to the agri-food sector, which was held on 14 September at CIFP VIÑALTA PALENCIA, organised by ICE. Castilla y León Institute for Business Competitiveness with the collaboration of ITAGRA.CT.

The event was attended by Institutions and companies such as Agerpix Technologies, Family Wineries Matarromera, Naïo Technologies, AG-Group, Meropy, ANSEMAT, CSIC, VITARTIS- Food Industry Association of Castilla y León, NODDO | Network of Technology Centres and us ENVO-DAN ApS.

During the day, several presentations were given, all of them very interesting and of great importance for the future of agriculture. There were also demonstrations in the field where we were able to learn about the importance of new technologies for improving efficiency and productivity in agriculture and the entire agri-food sector. The future needs all of us in order for agriculture and the rural world to move forward.

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Agriculture 4.0 is the set of technologies oriented towards the digitalisation of agricultural processes.
In modern agriculture, the new challenges are farm sustainability, efficiency to obtain adequate yields, water management, minimising environmental impact, reduction of pesticides, soil welfare, resource management, rural development and generational renewal among others.

Agriculture is currently under severe pressure, mainly due to a growing world population, scarcity of natural resources and climate change.
Agriculture 4.0 is a great ally, as it increases crop productivity, improves the decision-making process when managing crops in terms of moisture, nutrients, pests, etc., reduces the impact of agricultural practices on the environment by reducing the use of chemicals,as well as reducing costs such as electricity, water, fuel, etc.

In order to achieve more sustainable agriculture, it is necessary:

  • Anticipate change, recognise it, accept it, plan for it and take action.
  • Identifying resources and constraints: developing methods to use resources and overcome constraints.
  • Maximise quality at every step of the process.
  • Integrating food production processes with biological and organic processes.
  • Reduce the use of non-renewable techniques that are harmful to the environment, farmers and consumers.
  • Benefit from farmers’ knowledge and information to strengthen and motivate the next generations
  • Build on people’s capacity to collaborate and solve common agricultural and natural resource problems (collecting information on pests, irrigation, etc.).
  • Research models of sustainable agriculture, such as organic farming, biodynamics, permaculture and integrated production.

The future of agriculture is very promising and faces a number of challenges and trends. Here are some key aspects of the future of agriculture:

Sustainable farming practices: Sustainability will be a central theme in the future of agriculture.
Farmers will continue to adopt practices that reduce the environmental impact of farming, such as no-till, precision farming and the use of cover crops to improve soil health.

organic field in Hungary 810 x 510

Technology integration: Agriculture is becoming increasingly technologically advanced. This includes the use of drones to monitor crops, autonomous tractors and machinery, precision farming and the Internet of Things (IoT) for real-time data collection. These technologies can help increase efficiency and reduce waste.

Adaptation to climate change: Agriculture will need to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, such as increased extreme weather events, changing growing seasons and changes in pest and disease patterns. This may involve developing new crop varieties and farming practices that are more resilient to these changes.

Digital agriculture: The use of big data, analytics and artificial intelligence in agriculture will continue to grow. Farmers can make better-informed decisions about planting, irrigation and crop protection by analysing large data sets and information in real-time.

Sustainable food production: There will be an increasing emphasis on sustainable food production. This includes reducing food waste, implementing circular and organic farming systems and adopting environmentally friendly packaging and distribution methods.

We must care for the rural interface and preserve it.

Rural-urban interface: The interface between rural and urban areas will become increasingly critical as cities grow. It will be important to balance the need for urban development with the preservation of agricultural land and support for rural communities.

Education and labour: The future of agriculture will require a well-educated and technologically literate workforce. Education and training programmes will need to be adapted to equip future farmers with the necessary skills.

Overall, the future of agriculture will be shaped by a combination of technological innovation, environmental sustainability and adaptation to changing global challenges. It’s a dynamic sector that will play a crucial role in solving some of the most pressing issues of our time, from feeding a growing population to mitigating the effects of climate change.
In particular, organic farming allows us to maintain environmental sustainability by reducing the use of chemicals that harm not only the environment but also the farmer and the consumer. Maintaining soil health, and biodiversity, increased health benefits, higher food quality and great support for local agriculture, among other things.

The future of agriculture is seen with the promise of increasingly sustainable practices, with cutting-edge technology where data, observations, research and the maintenance of these will help us to understand and improve crops. Where innovation and sustainability must go hand in hand. And where education is important, both to preserve the rural world and for its future.

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Ole Bo Jensen, Owner ENVO-DAN