Due to the increasing competition from other countries and the rapid decline of olive harvests caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, the olive sector is under more and more pressure. Similar threats apply to table grapes, which are cultivated in another use case of the IoF2020 project. Like olives, these fruits are also vulnerable to pests, have a short shelf-life and can easily be damaged in every step along the supply chain. Therefore, both use cases explore how IoT technologies can help to face those challenges.
In even the most developed European countries, there are big gaps in internet access. Around 50 % of rural households had no broadband access in 2017 due to the challenges service providers encounter in those areas. Unlike urban regions, rural areas have a varying degree of terrain, making executing a cable or fiber buildout difficult and costly. Luckily, there might already be an inexpensive solution available: television white space stands to transform the way we purchase and use wireless internet. However, this disruptive technology isn’t yet widely adopted.
The Dairy Trial group met in Melle, Belgium on September 19th and 20th. The meeting was hosted by ILVO who is also actively involved in the Grazing Cow monitoring use case. A multi-disciplinary and multi-national group of companies (Qlip, Sensolus, Connecterra, 365Farmnet), research organisations (ILVO, University of Strathclyde, Wageningen Livestock Research, Inagro) and IoF2020 experts (Biosense, ATB, Unparallel) discussed thoroughly the four uses cases and tried to learn from each other. Although the use cases are already implemented on some farms the farmers were not invited yet to participate in the discussion. In the Dairy Trial use cases concentrate on monitoring of grazing cows, giving farmers insights and early warnings on oestrus and rumination and remote milk quality checks in dairy processing.
The EU quality certification system and protected designation of origin (PDO) is a powerful tool to protect the quality of EU products, especially in foreign markets.
With the use of IoT-technologies, an enhanced quality certification system will offer a system that will lead to a reduction of inspection costs and time, of time to certify and will increase the reliability of that certification.
Other reasons to use IoT-technologies for these kind of certification systems are to create a greater impact on more satisfaction for the producer and the auditor, less human errors, less use of paper and a higher trust in the quality of the products.
One of the biggest problems farmers face is the interoperability of farming equipment due to different digital standards. Interoperability is the ability of agricultural equipment to exchange and interact or communicate.
This lack of interoperability is not only obstructing the adoption of new IoT-technologies and slowing down their growth in Europe. It also inhibits the gain of production efficiency through smart farming methods. This use case aims to integrate different communication standards to unlock the potential of data exchange between field machinery and farm management information systems.
The recent CAP proposal describes ambitious goals about digital transformation in agriculture for all actors in the agri-food chain. It leaves farmers and cooperatives wondering about the extent to which it will affect their future and what role they can play. At the same time, large agri-food companies worldwide are fine-tuning their corporate strategies about digitization, and Member States are actively thinking about how to achieve these ambitious goals.
The meat trial is one of the five trials within IoF2020. This trial aims to demonstrate how technology can help face the challenges the meat sector has been dealing with, such as animal welfare, foreign competition, climate impact and antibiotic resistance. It consists of early warning systems to increase animal health and reduce antibiotic use, as well as advanced monitoring systems which could provide farmers with feedback on their decisions and help to optimize animal growth and wellbeing. Tracking data adds transparency and traceability to the production process. In this way, the meat trial will explore the advantages of IoT technologies for farmers and for the production chain as a whole. This work has not gone unnoticed, as IoF2020 had the honour to be mentioned as a relevant project improving animal welfare by Louis Mahy from DG Agri, during the Info Day of the European Commission. Now that the program is well underway, we are excited to share some first developments of the different use cases.
Amid the ongoing proliferation of Internet of Things initiatives in Brazil, a delegation of governmental, private sector and academic stakeholders arrived in Brussels at the beginning of June this year with the aim of learning more about successful European IoT implementation initiatives. After their visit to the European Commission’s Directorate‑General for Communications, Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), they joined us in our office in Brussels for an introduction to the IoF2020 project. The objective was to learn about the impact that IoT technologies can have in regions of high agricultural activity and low population density in order to create a similar programme in Brazil. Based on the lessons learned within the EU-funded IoF2020 large scale pilot, Edwin Hecker, Managing Partner at Schuttelaar & Partners and IoF2020 Ecosystem Development Leader, provided a glimpse of how the IoF2020 ecosystem developed over the first 18 months of the 48 months project. Following the session with us, the Brazilian delegation met with the Secretary General of the Alliance for the Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI) in Brussels. One of the discussion points was the follow-up of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Brazilian Government (Camara IoT) and the AIOTI in February 2017 to collaborate on IoT.