Advancing Sustainable Agriculture: the role of advanced farm machines & solutions

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

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As Europeans, we enjoy a unique balance of food quantity, quality and diversity. The hard work of our farmers paired with a dedicated agri-food value chain where innovation, technology and agricultural mechanization work together are the milestones to deliver more sustainable farming practices and make progress towards the EU Green Deal ambitious targets.

Just recently, our common Agriculture system went through a very significant stress-test, demonstrating its resilience to keep a steady supply of safe and nutritious food during the Covid-19 pandemic. Undoubtedly, there was no teleworking for nature and agriculture. On the contrary, the agricultural sector worked at full speed and advanced farm machines and solutions played their part to provide food to European citizens every day, everywhere.

Today, just like technology, societal expectations are constantly evolving. There is consensus towards more sustainable farming, with the double challenge to produce enough food whilst further protecting nature and safeguarding our biodiversity. The European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, the Zero pollution action plan… have set very ambitious targets that will significantly impact agricultural practices for the years to come in the quest of a more sustainable agriculture in Europe.

To take-up that challenge, the agricultural machinery industry stands ready to provide the right technologies to support farmers of all farm types and sizes. The use of digital farming tools, modern farm machines, farm data management systems and agricultural robotics are outlined as part of the solution to advance sustainable farming.

However, to increase technology uptake, European policies, measures and support schemes need to be aligned. The reformed CAP can support investments in advanced farm machinery, precision farming technologies and digital solutions to help our farmers to stay competitive, while ensuring a generation renewal of farming activities. The ball is now with the 27 Member States to make it happen, notably through well-crafted National Strategic Plans and eco-schemes.

Advancing sustainable agriculture in Europe is possible, but to do so, we need to unleash innovation and lead the digital transformation of the European agri-food sector. At CEMA, we are convinced that if we get the right balance and stimulus, advanced agricultural machinery and solutions can seed the future of sustainable farming for Europe.

This opinion piece takes basis on the messages put forward by CEMA during its virtual #CEMASummit 2021 ‘Seeding the Future of Sustainable Farming – Advanced Farm Machines & Solutions to deliver on the European Green Deal’ 14/04/2021. You can check our Best Of Video here.

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