The event will consist of an evening discussion on how to make the EU ambitions towards digital farming a reality with our distinguished speakers Ms Nathalie Sauze-Vandevyver, Director Quality policy, Research & Innovation, Outreach, DG AGRI, European Commission, Mr Franc Bogovič MEP (SLO/EPP), Mr Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, Copa Cogeca, Mr Joao Pacheco, Senior Fellow, Farm Europe and Mr Daniel Pereira, Head of The Climate Corporation Europe Middle East and Africa, Bayer.
The debate will be moderated by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Journalist, Euractiv.
This event is kindly sponsored by
About the debate
Strengthening the Single Market and adapting it to the digital age is a key cornerstone for Europe’s recovery from the corona crisis. Digitalisation of farming is one of the most prominent features of the European Green Deal, more specifically digital and precision farming is highlighted in the Farm to Fork strategy as a key technology to help achieve the targets and deliver on sustainability goals set forth. Indeed, Europe’s green growth strategy aims at enhancing resource efficiency and global competitiveness by turning ever-pressing climate, biodiversity and environmental challenges into sustainable growth opportunities. While this comprehensive approach has been applied to all sectors of the EU economy, agriculture has emerged as a strategic sector given both food security evolving as a key issue following the Corona crisis, and its impact on the environment and natural resources. Accordingly, greater farming digitalisation has been pointed out by several commentators as a crucial innovation domain which is poised to allow all European farmers not only to better understand field and crop conditions on a far more granular level, but also to improve crop management and timing of decisions on inputs such as crop protection, water, fertilisers and/or energy consumption, so that the optimal amounts of resources are used only when needed.
In addition, the debate on the “digital farming revolution” has also highlighted that digital farming is ready for a swift rollout in Europe in the aftermath of the Corona crisis, given its capacity to help the EU farming sector improve its sustainability and recover from the outbreak’s impact. Nevertheless, the analyses on the ongoing evolution of the farming sector has also raised several questions as to the extent to which Europe will be able to put farmers in the position of achieving the full potential of digital technologies and make investments more attractive. Indeed, the public policy debate on agriculture in Europe has raised some concerns as to how the EU will find its way to innovation and digitalisation in the farming sector, given the already existing barriers which may slow farmers’ access to new production systems. Certainly, costs, return on investment, access to the digital infrastructures and regulations which do not fully account for the capabilities of digital farming tools have been highlighted as potential obstacles to the market fully taking off.
From an Europe-wide perspective, the policy framework has been set by the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy, whereas the traditional EU governance model of agriculture through the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), notably based on rules established at EU level, will incorporate a more flexible system to decide how best to meet the common objectives, while responding to the specific needs of both farmers and rural communities. However, the potential of the new EU-wide policy stances to achieve the ambitious EU climate and environmental goal will depend on the way new EU policy approaches will be shaped and implemented, as well as on how the EU agricultural sector as a whole will be able to shift towards a sustainable model. How can the EU turn ambitions into a reality?
This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule
The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #DigitalFarming
Please specify, whenever possible, to which speaker you wish to address the question. Questions without this specification will be intended as to be addressed to the panel as a whole.