Organized by the Leonardo-Civiltà delle Macchine Foundation, the Polytechnic of Bari and the University of Bari, it was an opportunity to take stock of current levels of development and perspectives with operators, academics, technicians, companies and institutional representatives.
The first major opportunity to address the issue of precision agriculture with operators, researchers, technicians, companies and institutional representatives to imagine models for collaboration between research, professions, agricultural, industrial, economic-financial and ICT companies (information and communication technologies)), in order to create development opportunities also in the light of the resources associated with the National Recovery and Resistance Plan (Pnrr). As well as presenting and deepening the innovative technologies in precision agriculture, at the current level and in the development perspectives, and the enabling technologies for agriculture 4.0, intended as a further development of precision agriculture for all the interventions activated thanks to a precise and timely analysis of data and information collected and transmitted using advanced tools and technologies. This would like to be there In National Conference “Precision Agriculture and 4.0, for Competitive and Sustainable Production” organized in Bari by the Leonardo-Civiltà delle Macchine Foundation, Bari Polytechnic and the University of Bari in the Cherubini Atrium of the Polytechnic.
Violante: “Widespread use of new technologies”
Due to the war in Ukraine and the effects of climate change, agriculture will be encouraged to satisfy a huge demand for food, he introduced Luciano Violante, President of the Leonardo-Civiltà delle Macchine Foundation. “It is a business that will only be made possible by the widespread use of new technologies that allow for an increase in production, save water and other resources and reduce costs. 60% of Italian farms in 2021 invested at least ‘in an agriculture 4.0 solution, with + 4% compared to 2020, and over four out of ten use at least two technologies, specifically management software, monitoring systems and machine control. We need to move forward on this path’.
Scarascia Mugnozza: “Accuracy and 4.0 technologies to combat food crises”
Precision farming means intervening in agriculture at the right time, in the right place, with the right technical means and with the right dose in a sustainable way, he explained. Giacomo Scarascia Mugnozza, professor at the Polytechnic in Bari and former chairman of the Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering. “Now technology is making available, on a large scale and at low cost, systems that have come into everyday life, such as satellites, GPS systems, drones, robots, mechatronics, intelligent sensors, IoT, decision support systems, big management date, artificial intelligence. the revolution of motorization and mechanization in agriculture, which started in the early 1900s in the United States and Britain to free man from the wear and tear of the fields, we are experiencing a new revolutionary phase in the agricultural sector: we can not feed today’s world with yesterday’s agriculture We need to focus on the diffusion and application of precision and 4.0 technologies also to address the looming food crisis. Managing an agricultural production is much more complex than managing an industrial process: the biological factor and the spatial and temporal variability require much more demanding technological and computing tools and processes that make engineering knowledge and techniques available; cabinet and information technology applied to biological farming systems. Hence the collaboration between Polytechnic and the University of Bari with Agraria ».
“Precision Agriculture Conference and 4.0 a First Step”
Precision agriculture and 4.0 are not just technology, on the contrary, they involve significant economic, managerial, legal and social aspects: thanks to the government and the precise and site-specific control of production, they provide the opportunity to increase sustainability, ie to produce more and better with fewer resources, stressed Scarascia Mugnozza.
“Environmental sustainability in our case is not a slogan: we are talking about less consumption of resources. Less fertilizer, pesticides, seeds, water, energy. Therefore, control and monitoring, calibrated on the small, medium or large enterprise size, of crop needs, reduction of inputs and increase in yield and quality are also in the face of global challenges: increase in food needs of the growing world population (currently 7, 9 billion. ), progressive depletion of fossil fuels, protection of agro-biodiversity, limits on natural water and soil resources, climate change and global warming, which are already affecting agri-food production (concentration of CO2 has increased by 30% in the last 50 years, from 330 ppm to 420 ppm). A few days ago, on 5 June, World Environment Day was held: Today, with precision agriculture and 4.0, we provide our answers and our contribution to protecting the environment, combating climate change and security and food sovereignty. Today is a first appointment that we hope others will follow, to define the state of the art in precision agriculture by focusing on collaboration between research and companies as well as on the opportunities that NRP offers ».
Giorgetti: “Large margins for the diffusion of technologies related to precision agriculture”
In Italy, investments in 4.0 agricultural technologies over the last two years have registered a clear growth, but the percentage of cultivated agricultural area on which 4.0 funds and technologies are used is still too low, currently equal to just over 5%. This is stated by the Minister of Economic Development. Giancarlo Giorgettirecalls that there is still a lot to do, also in terms of infrastructure: broadband coverage in rural areas is so far only around 40%.
“In the last two years, the specific sector of agriculture 4.0 has gone from a turnover of around 500 million euros in 2019 to over 1.5 billion by the end of 2021. Over 60% of farmers declare that they adopt at least one agricultural solution 4.0 The intersection of precision agriculture and industry 4.0 technologies constitute a new reference for the implementation of complex solutions that allow for product improvements, even by resorting to applications that integrate different stages of the value chain. Recent studies also show that the use of 4.0 technologies is growing in line with the size of companies, and in this sense, policies that encourage mergers, even temporary ones, can allow companies to be an active part of innovation processes, while that they improve the diversity of the territory “.
Patuanelli: “Innovation also for small productions”
Innovation must become the present and future of the primary sector in terms of sustainability and in synergy with the achievement of food security, which will represent the real push towards a development that is up to the challenges of the global market, the Minister said. of agricultural, food and forestry policies, Stefano Patuanelli, speaks online at the I National Conference on precision agriculture and 4.0. The aim is also to allow an agriculture made of distinctiveness and excellence, of ties to the land, culture and traditions, to be able to continue in what is called “small production”, but to have the ability to put the innovations in the micro context that can be perceived more in large companies that produce high consumption ».
Proposal for a Manifesto for Food Security and Sovereignty
The National Conference on Precision Agriculture and 4.0 was also the occasion for the presentation of a “Proposal_Manifesto_Sicurezza_Sovranita_Alimentare” by Maria De Angelis (Professor of Food Technology at the University of Bari), Giacomo Scarascia Mugnozza and Luciano Violante
On “Terra è Vita”
A larger article on intervention from Massimo IannettaHead of the Department of Biotechnology and Agro-Industry, ENEA and Chairman of the CTS, Agrifood National Technology Cluster, Fabrizio MazzettoProfessor of Mechanics and Mechanization, Free University of Bolzano, e.g. Antonio Messeni PetruzzelliProfessor of Economic Management Technology, Polytechnic of Bari, will be published shortly in the weekly “Terra è Vita”.