Focus on Farm to Fork Strategy & practices with digital farm technologies.


The AKT 2021 meeting on 25 February had a clear focus: highlighting the main challenges put forward by the Farm to Fork strategy for the agri-food sector. Nevertheless the agenda moved quickly into the practice presenting three experimental fields in the different German states where digital farming tools were transforming agricultural practices. Possibilities, opportunities and challenges of wireless networks, precision tools and robotics were discussed in length.

Further technology uptake & user-friendly tools will enhance more sustainable farming practices

Out of the discussions several messages came across: the low uptake of digital technologies is due to the low data transfer possibilities, the lack of robustness to use certain new technologies under all conditions and the lack of plug and play and user-friendly software. To give an example, the link between variable rate technologies and the final outcome of the process, the harvest, is not always straight forward, therefore that pushes farmers to turn towards their traditional tractor-implement solutions.

Education will play a central role

On the other side, more positive views mentioned the presence of potential of existing technology solutions. There are simple and easy tools to use, but education is key. For instance, in order to achieve more biodiversity there, is a need for more accurate measurements on the effect agricultural practices have on biodiversity. The right combination of different technology solutions would be essential to improve biodiversity in agriculture.

Promising insights were provided on the future of sensors, Artificial Intelligence and autonomous machines. On that, CEMA could present the standardisation work on ‘autonomous functions’ that has been elaborated. The priority is to first develop the right standards and only then update the Machinery Directive, if so required.

The AKT 2021 meeting was also the occasion to saying goodbye to VDMA Technical Director Norbert Alt, who puts an end to his professional career. Norbert Alt stands as a key referent on technical legislation and a long standing organiser of so many successful annual AKT events. On behalf of CEMA we thank you Norbert for his large and fruitful contribution to numerous and crucial technical files for the European ag machinery industry. We wish him the very best and we already warmly welcome his successor Magnus Schmitt.