Smart AKIS is an EU funded project under the EU's Horizon 2020 Research Program of which CEMA is part, and which aims at analyzing the suitability and use of Smart Farming Technologies in EU Agriculture, as well as the drivers and obstacles in the adoption of technology by farmers at the European level.
The kick-off meeting was kindly hosted by the Agricultural University of Athens, coordinator of the project, March 23-24.
This first meeting allowed the partners to acquaint with each other (farmers representatives, academia, research centers, ag engineering, ag machinery industry) and set up the working plan and actions that will structure the project for the next 30 months under six thematic work packages.
CEMA has played a central role since the beginning of the project, acting as liaison with the ag machinery industry representatives. The engagement and insights of the industry will be extremely valuable to:
- elaborate an inventory of the most suitable Smart Farming technologies available for European agriculture, screening results from research-based EU projects and commercial applications already available on the market developed
- involve farmers, ag advisors and other practitioners so as to identify the specific needs and reasons why some of the latest technologies are not widely picked up by the farming community
- address policy gaps and issue recommendations to encourage that agricultural policies further support innovation and technology uptake in European agriculture
The leaders of each work package explained the main tasks to be undertaken by the partners involved. As a first step, common methodologies will be developed to organize the work, harmonize data collection and deliver results in due time for the good running of the project.
Interesting discussions took place about the definition of innovation within the project. In this case, innovation is going to be linked to technology adoption in agriculture. Smart AKIS will develop innovative approaches placing farmers' perspectives and needs as the central hub to bring positive changes into current farming systems. But to succeed, changes in habits of the farming community must accompany this process such as enhancing greater education & skills for farmers, providing tailored agronomic advice and encouraging the sharing of local knowledge.
Smart AKIS has now set the starting blocks to run the project smoothly. CEMA is looking forward to actively collaborate to the success of the project which expects to bring great benefits for farmers and agriculture in Europe.