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.
Discovering the origin of one’s wine while consuming it from the comfort of your own home? Our use case Enhanced Quality Certification System will make this possible. But let’s not put the cart before the horse as there is much more to it than that. Quality certification systems are needed to enhance trust and provide a standardized approach, protecting the quality of EU products while being less vulnerable to fraud. This is achieved by the use of IoT technologies such as sensors, RFID tags and intelligent chain analyses. Those traceability tools, online registration and sensor data provide proof of origin and production method to certification bodies.
The growth of poultry relies on the environment in which the bird feels comfortable, as well as on good-quality feed and water. In this use case, the performance of the poultry production chain is optimised through IoT driven technologies. This means raising poultry until the desired end weight while at the same time respecting and prioritizing animal welfare.
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.