DATAGRI: A reference forum for promoting digital transformation in the Spanish agri-food sector

DATAGRI 2018 has raised as the reference forum in Spain on digital transformation in the agri-food sector. It brought together some 1,500 professionals, including farmers, auxiliary industry, technology companies and administration, to analyse the present and future of agriculture 4.0. Organized by Agrifood Cooperatives of Spain, Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos (COAG), the technological company Hispatec and the University of Córdoba, it took place in Cordoba on 26 and 27 November.

The first day of DATAGRI was attended by high level representatives: The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, Phil Hogan, or the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, among many others. Many leading companies in digital agriculture such as Hispatec Analytics, VisualNACert, Esri, Google or GMV were also present, as well as representatives of the main leading companies and cooperatives in the Spanish agricultural sector such as Martín Códax, Anecoop, Cooperativa Ganadera del Valle de los Pedroches (COVAP), Unica Group, Grupo Siro, Florette Agrícola, etc..

The EU commissioner highlighted in his keynote that the European Union will invest in "agricultural digital integration platforms" to speed up the sector's digital transformation process, making data accessible and allowing third parties to develop applications and connect different users.

On the other hand, the minister stressed the important role that innovation and digitisation must play in the agriculture of the future: More intelligent, sustainable and competitive. Smart Agriculture is crucial to combat climate change, contribute to preserving the environment and achieving the objectives of Agenda 2030.

As an example, he quoted the advantage of the application of technology and digitalisation in the modernisation of Spanish irrigation, which has managed to reduce water consumption by 16% between 2004 and 2015.

During this conference, the role of innovation in agriculture and the use of data was broadly discussed. A multitude of cases were presented: An alert system using sensors in a tomato farm of the ParqueNat cooperative (developed by Hispatec), the use in Martín Códax wineries of aerial images captured by drones and light aircrafts to obtain vigor indexes for determining the optimum moment of harvest, the creation of a data network to support crop management of the Unica Group cooperative farmers or the systems for detecting heat and diseases, as well as the automation of feeding and milking in COVAP.

Regarding Spanish leadership, José Luis Molina, CEO of Hispatec, reminded the importance of technological leadership, both in the development of technologies and in their practical application. "Our productive reality and position in the world can lead us to be world leaders in digital technology for high-value agriculture in temperate-warm or warm zones".

The second day of DATAGRI was a field day in which the participating companies exhibited their products - applications and software - and carried out complete exhibitions with demonstrations and practical applications of the latest technologies applied in agriculture.

According to data provided by Integral Media for the scope of DATAGRI 2018, more than 26,000,000 potential impacts were achieved, and 8,600 tweets were launched during the two days of the event, which made it trending topic in Spain for a while.

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