Brussels, 10/07/2018 — At a critical juncture for the frame development of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020, GAIA EPICHEIREIN participated in a forum on the new operational model of the CAP. The forum took place in Brussels and was co-organized by MEPs Peter Jahr (EPP, Germany) and Julie Girling (EPP, UK) in cooperation with Fertilizers Europe, the representative body of fertilizers industry in Europe.
The forum, which took place at European Parliament, was attended by the Deputy Director-General of DG AGRI, Rudolf Mogele, WWF‘s Senior Policy Officer for Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems Jabier Ruiz, Tiffanie Stephani on behalf of Fertilizers Europe and the Spanish MEP Esther Herranz Garcia, European Parliament rapporteur on the proposed Regulation of strategic plans of CAP.
Elli Tsiforou, Head of GAIA Epicherein’s Brussels Office, was invited to comment on the proposals of the Commision, which place smart farming at the spotlight of the upcoming CAP. Ms Tsiforou shared the experience of GAIA EPICHEIREIN on the provision of technological tools to Greek farmers and cooperatives, and outlined the collaboration with NEUROPUBLIC on the digitalization of Greek rural areas through the gaiasense integrated smart farming system.
“The future CAP will be digital, as the digitalization of the agricultural sector is a main transversal goal of the future CAP which completes the most important political objectives”, Ms Tsiforou stated. “Member States are obligated to incorporate the digitalization in their national strategic plans while, at the same time to report on an annual basis, in order to receive funding“.
Ms. Tsiforou also explained that smart farming is introduced as an essential condition for granting direct payments, as it is integrated in the mandatory standards of Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAECs) for the management of soil nutrients. Furthermore, the agricultural advisory services that the Member States are obliged to incorporate in their strategic plans, will have to be combined with the development of digital technologies.
“However, the cuts of CAP’s resources – especially regarding the second pillar – as well as the compulsory targeting by 30% at agri-environmental measures, restrict the investment capacity of producers and prevent the adoption of technological solutions”, Ms Tsiforou highlighted. “This is the advantage of the gaiasense smart farming system, as it does not require farmers to make any investment and allows them to obtain the benefits of smart farming and advice through a small annual subscription, preparing them at the same time for the requirements of the future CAP”.