On June 12th, agriculture ministers of the EU Member States met in Luxembourg for the monthly meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries (AGRIFISH) Council. The ministers debated the place of soya production in European farming as a substitute for imports of protein animal feed. On this occasion, national delegations expressed support for the upcoming “European Soya Declaration”, which is to be signed during the next AGRIFISH meeting of July 7th.
The declaration, drafted by delegations of the ministries of agriculture of Germany and Hungary, highlighted the potential of domestic soybean production for curbing the ‘European protein deficit”, whereby millions of tons of protein crops are imported each year to feed European farmed animals, with huge economic and environmental costs attached.
Ministers of agriculture welcomed the initiative, stressing the potential of domestic production of protein-rich crops, including soya, for achieving the EU’s commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and curbing Europe’s dependency on external factors.
The European Soya Declaration outlines measures and policies aimed at supporting the cultivation of crops rich in proteins in Europe, with an emphasis on the following:
- Informing consumers on plant proteins-based diets
- Supporting diversity in cropping systems
- Streamlining legume crops logistics, processing and markets
- Fostering innovation in legume crops productions
Facilitating soya production with IoT
Technologies demonstrated as part of the Soya Protein Management use-case of the IoF2020 project shall play a key role in hastening the introduction of protein-rich crops in Europe. By combining sensor data and translating them into effective machine tasks, IoT technologies have a huge potential to increase the sustainability of legume crops, while making life easier for farmers ready to make room for soybean in their cropping systems.