The German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner opened the International Green Week 2019 in Berlin with a speech in which she underlined the importance of precision agriculture.
“Over the many decades food production has changed. It has become more modern, more mechanised, more digital, more interconnected, more global and more traceable”, Klöckner said in het opening speech to the International Green Week 2019.
At the same time the demands placed on producers and production have increased, she said. “Consumers have become more critical with regard to protecting the environment, climate, resources and livestock and where consumer protection is concerned.”
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Die #IGW19 ist der Ort, an dem wir #Landwirtschaft erklären und den #Dialog suchen können. Hier trifft Landwirtschaft auf die #Gesellschaft. Lassen Sie uns zeigen, dass wir eine Landwirtschaft für die Zukunft sind. pic.twitter.com/KfHgX2tdnt
— BMEL (@bmel) 17 January 2019
Klöckner told the audience what she thinks farming will look like in 2030. “Naturally, I imagine food and enjoyment, a responsible attitude towards livestock and the environment, nature and thriving rural communities, a place where one feels at home. But with advanced hi-tech equipment in the fields, stables and sheds that will make farming lives easier.”
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“Robots will be taken for granted everywhere in the fields, data will make its way directly from the field to the cloud, onto the supermarket shelf and all the way to the consumer’s plate. Modern farming units will use precision farming methods to minimise pesticide use, with machinery that can pinpoint crop and pest occurrence and deliver exact amounts of pesticide and fertiliser without any loss.”
Naturally, farmers will also be wondering who is in charge of the data from their tractors and fields – is it the state or a manufacturer?
According to Klöckner, that is not too far removed from the present day. “Already, we have cowsheds where milking is digitally automated, livestock health is assessed and farmers receive the information by smartphone. To achieve this we need blanket high-speed internet coverage – digital highways, not dirt tracks! This is vital for a business location. Because yesterday’s milk urn is today’s robotic milking machine.”
The German Minister of Food and Agriculture also mentioned data ownership. “Naturally, farmers will also be wondering who is in charge of the data from their tractors and fields – is it the state or a manufacturer? That is something we need to examine and ideally rule on together.”
According to Klöckner, “modern, digitalised agriculture is a worldwide opportunity to ensure more efficient, energy-saving production and give more people enough food. That is a good prospect for the countries in question and a factor in helping to stem mass migration.”