Despite improvement in EU agricultural productivity occurred in the last decades, significant challenges remain on the horizon: new arable land is limited, natural resources are scarce and need protection, the young generation is at times hesitant to enter the farming sector, while at the same time sufficient amounts of food need to be produced sustainably and affordably for a growing urban population.

In this context, modern agricultural equipment is a central solution in helping farmers meet these challenges. From ploughing to harvesting, advanced farm equipment with integrated Precision Farming technologies (satellite-based driving systems, sensors, increasing automation, drones) offer promising solutions for farmers at any scale to increase production, farm processes efficiency and environmental protection.

The European framework for Research & Innovation precisely responds to some of the key challenges our planet is facing for the years to come, including the need of “producing more with less” encouraging a more productive, resource-efficient, and sustainable agriculture.

CEMA position.

EU funding for agricultural research should focus on Precision Farming, resource efficiency, alternative energies & digitization. In addition, the EU should support the drawing up of a new strategic research agenda for agricultural engineering.

These were some of the key messages submitted by CEMA to the stakeholder consultation on Societal Challenge 2 of the EU's Horizon 2020 Framework Research Programme, and that we confirm as pillars for the research on food, agriculture and the bioeconomy in the future Horizon Europe Framework Programme.

To ensure that future innovations will reach European farmers and will be used in the field, it will be important to research factors and perceptions that effectively act as barriers to technological change for farmers, and to design adequate financial support and incentive schemes to accelerate such change.

The future Research Programme should also look at how to support and fund the real uptake of innovation in agriculture, thus facilitating the participation of new actors in the programmes (farmers, industry representatives, SMEs, etc.)

The ultimate aim must be to empower farms to make meaningful advances in smart localized resource management and achieve significant aggregate productivity and sustainability gains in European farming.

Related activities in which CEMA is involved.

Exchanging knowledge & increasing awareness-raising on Precision Farming techniques in Europe have been firmly placed as a priority on CEMA’s agenda in the last years. To explain the benefits modern agricultural technologies can bring into European agriculture, CEMA has been coordinating regular events and high-level conferences to bring together industry experts, key EU decision-makers and farmers’ representatives to share their views on the state of play Precision Farming has in Europe today. Discussions on bottlenecks encountered by precision agriculture Europe have helped to align views among the farming community and assess the policy options (e.g. CAP, research funding, Agriculture 4.0) that could greatly encourage a further technology uptake in European agriculture in the years to come.

More specifically, CEMA is currently involved in five H2020, Horizon Europe and Digital Europe funded projects:

  • FAIRshare, focused on the barriers for better uptake of digital tools by the ag advisory community.
  • agROBOfood, aimed to accelerate the digital transformation of the European agri-food sector through the adoption of robotic technologies.
  • AgroFossilFree, aimed to create a framework under which critical stakeholders cooperate to evaluate and promote currently available fossil-energy-free strategies and technologies (FEFTS) in EU agriculture.
  • QuantiFarm, assesed the impact of digital technology solutions in agriculture in real-life conditions.
  • AgriDataSpace, aimed to build a European framework for the secure and trusted data space for agriculture.