Though the European Fee and machine producers sing the praises of digitalization in agriculture, others level to the chance of making new dependencies for farmers on multinationals. EURACTIV France studies.
The present agri-food system must be reworked extensively to be able to face as we say about climate and environmental challenges, she mentioned. However, precision agriculture as such doesn’t make this transformation occur based on inexperienced teams, which don’t see digitalization as precedence.
This caveat apart, digital instruments additionally produce convincing outcomes, Denharitgh mentioned. One instance is an initiative put in place by the regional chamber of agriculture of the Nouvelle Aquitaine area in France. Due to digital instruments developed by the national institute for agronomic research (INRA), and help from advisers, the city managed to scale back nitrate air pollution in water and soil ensuing from fertilizer use.
The software permits farmers to know with precision the degrees of fertilizers which might be utterly vital for the crops, without the necessity for a radical evaluation. And with little funding on the part of the farmers, as a result of the info is accessible online.
On the entire, Denharitgh is skeptical although, warning of three completely different dangers. First, digital devices corresponding to drones, onboard gear, or chips positioned on animals all use pricey applied sciences, which enhance the threat of indebtment on farmers who’re already below financial strain, she warned.
Given their value, digital gear is additionally often the prerogative of large companies, and due to this fact exclude smaller farms. And eventually, they threat eradicating farmers from their fields, resulting in a lack of know-how. This phenomenon is already taking place due to mechanization and must be stopped, Denharitgh stated.
That view is shared by Marco Contiero, EU agriculture coverage director at Greenpeace. Like Denharitgh, he believes digitalization will undoubtedly result in extra effectivity in agriculture; however, received’t in itself remedy the sector’s issues.