Intellectual Output 3

Intellectual Output 3

The farming sector and rural areas are capable of delivering sustainable solutions to current and future challenges such as assuring a safe and sustainable provision of quality food, fostering resource efficiency, developing the circular economy and combating climate change.
In this context, ‘digital transformation’ will play a crucial role for rural business and the farming sector. For instance, the adoption of modern farming technologies, including those based on robots, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, has great potential in leading to a more productive, sustainable, and environmentally responsible food production. Smart farming systems can help farmers improve decision-making processes and develop more efficient operations and management.
However, alongside the more sector-specific considerations, there is still a large fragmentation in terms of knowledge exchange, the elaboration of convincing and profitable business cases for the key stakeholders, and the alignment of private and public funds to finance innovation and scale-up the market extent. These aspects form the basis for a successful and widespread implementation of such technologies. The above issues lead to the third, big challenge, which is about involving the farmers. Farmers are the ultimate users of the innovation; therefore, their involvement is essential and needs to be fostered alongside that of the other stakeholders. In fact, apart from a small group of frontrunners, European farmers still do not seem to hitch to digital technologies.

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