We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion regarding AI in farming and the « Farm to Fork » strategy as a global standard for sustainability with our distinguished speakers Ms Eva Kaili MEP (S&D/GR), Mr Juha Heikkila, Head of Unit, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, DG CNECT, European Commission, Mr Gijsbertus Schilthuis, Head of Unit, Policy Perspectives, DG AGRI, European Commission, Mr Luis Neves, CEO, Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Mr David Meszaros CEO, SmartKas.
Mr Jakša Petrić, Counsellor, Permanent Representation of Croatia will hold an introductory speech on behalf of the Croatian EU Presidency.
Mr Abraham Liu, Chief Representative to the EU Institutions and Vice-President for the European Region, Huawei will hold a keynote speech and be also part of the panel discussion.
The debate will be moderated by Dave Keating, Journalist and Brussels Correspondent for France 24.
Given the current developments regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, our event series will be held in streaming.
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About the debate
In Europe and around the globe, biodiversity is disappearing as a consequence of unsustainable human activities. This loss is closely connected to climate change and is disrupting ecosystems that support life on earth. As a result, farmers are increasingly suffering from rises in crop disease, water stress, nutrient deficits and, more generally, from environmental damage. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations member states, has provided a shared blueprint for climate action and prosperity for people and the planet through the unfolding of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The importance of the SDGs for Europe has been reflected in the mission letters President von der Leyen sent to the Commissioners designate at the very beginning of the mandate whereby each member of the College has been exhorted to work towards the achievement of SDGs. Shortly after, the Commission has released the “Farm to Fork” strategy by acknowledging that farming is a crucial sector to make production and consumption sustainable, and to improve the health of European citizens and the innovation of the old continent’s businesses at the same time.
Within this context, several experts have highlighted that agriculture is impacted by global trends related to demographics, economics and climate change. For both the question of biodiversity and agriculture there are solutions but they require deep and transformative changes in the way we produce, consume and trade. In the domain of agriculture, the adoption of new digital farming methods based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), but also on robotics, the blockchain, high performance computing (HPC), the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G-related technologies can increase farm efficiency. At the same time, those technologies can valuably improve environmental sustainability. Indeed, smarter, digitally enabled farming has already proven to help achieving higher quantity and quality yields, as well as increasing resource efficiency and curbing substantially greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, IoT-based applications in agriculture have also been designed to reduce resource depletion and enhance productivity, whereas the future of farming lies in the benefits of connecting, collecting and analysing big data.
As highlighted in a study of the European Parliament ”a farm-tech revolution is emerging within the scope of global trends which generate structural changes in farms and the wider value chain in unexplored ways, comparable to what happened in the 1950s when tractors started to be used more widely”. Furthermore, the same research highlighted how collaborations rather than takeovers between established companies, start-ups and SMEs are becoming more common as there are mutual benefits to be gained by both parties. SMEs need to collaborate with partners to remain innovative. The framework for this collaboration needs to continue and thrive. However, it needs to be further clarified how Europe and the rest of the globe can adapt to the new technological advancements in order to maximise their benefits for a more prosperous and sustainable future.
The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #AIandAGRI
This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.
The event will commence at 6.00 pm and it will be held in streaming. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.
We look forward to hosting you at 6.00 pm on the 2nd of June 2020