Between 26 and 27 of April 2018 the EIP-AGRI workshop titled ‘Enabling farmers for the digital age: the role of AKIS‘ took place in Jūrmala, Latvia.
Participation in this event was by invitation only, and NEUROPUBLIC was among the invited parties, along with research organizations and academic institutes, governmental bodies of EU member states, chambers and networks within the E.U., agricultural cooperatives and producers, education and training organizations as well as companies developing innovative solutions for the agrifood sector. The event was attended by about 100 participants in total.
The aim of the workshop was to explore and enhance the role of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS), focusing on agricultural advisors as bodies facilitating the transfer of innovation to the field, as well as the networking of rural entities, in the exploitation of digital technologies at farm level.
The Workshop started with greetings from the Latvian Minister of Agriculture Mr. Jānis Dūklavs and the Head of Unit, European Commission – DG AGRI Mr. Dušan Chrene. The discussions and thematic sessions of the workshop focused on the central role of the farmer in all related processes, in the need for traditional farmers to make the transition to digital farming, the role of bodies like agricultural advisors and extension officers in this transition, as well as in the digital tools that farmers and agronomists can make use of for improving agricultural production.
The role of education and training of farmers on topics related to the new technologies and the digitization of their production was discussed, along with the tools available for this purpose. In this context, the importance of advisory services for farmers as a mean facilitating the integration of new technologies in food production was highlighted.
The gaiasense smart farming system was one of the just ten innovative solutions selected as good practices supporting the digital transformation of the agrifood sector through the diffusion of knowledge and innovation. gaiasense was presented during the first day of the workshop by Mr. Theodoros Zografos, Communication and Marketing Manager of gaiasense.
The presentation focused on the way that gaiasense operates, and more specifically on the way that it makes use of data, scientific knowledge and practical experience, engaging actors like researchers, agricultural advisors and farmers who consist main components of an AKIS system. On top of that, Mr. Zografos made a reference on the benefits that farmers, agricultural advisors and researchers reap through the exploitation of data and the smart farming services of gaiasense. The presentation was followed by a discussion among the participants on the operation of gaiasense, its network as well as the plan for its expansion in the next period.