This article is part of our special report Innovation – Feeding the world.
SPECIAL REPORT / Global population is expected to rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050, according to UN projections. Food production will have to double to meet nutritional needs.
In an effort to rise to this challenge, the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the period 2014-2020 is focused on innovation as well as environmental protection.
The new CAP provides a variety of funding opportunities that will help EU farmers adjust to the circumstances, mainly from the Rural Development Pillar and the Horizon 2020 programme.
Despite the huge amounts of EU money already spent to research on GMOs and organics, conventional farming still represents the 94.2% of the EU agricultural land.
Analysts claim that an “agri-tech revolution” is needed and precision farming is emerging as an innovation-driven solution.
Precision farming is based on the optimized management of inputs in a field according to actual crop needs. It involves data-based technologies, including satellite positioning systems like GPS, remote sensing and the Internet, to manage crops and reduce the use of fertilizers, pesticides and water.
The introduction of the new technologies helps farmers to manage their farms in a sustainable way taking into account the “slightest detail” of everyday farming.
However, precision farming technologies are still expensive and unaffordable to most farmers, especially, the smaller ones.
>>Read the Special Report: Innovation – Feeding the world