Digital Solutions for Small- and Medium-Sized Farms: First Italian Local Workshop Organized

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GUARDIANS’ Italian partner MIAC - Polo AGRIFOOD organized its first local workshop to assess the level of knowledge and acceptance of new technologies in Piedmont region.

Introducing innovation, technologies and digital solutions in the agri-food sector is a priority widely recognized by the European Union also in its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

GUARDIANS project supports these innovation goals and aims to bridge the current technological gap of small- and medium-sized farms with lager player in the global market.

When introducing innovation in rural areas, local specific characteristics – such as categories of potential beneficiaries and stakeholders involved – must be considered and assessed.

In this context, MIAC – Polo AGRIFOOD organised its first local workshop on April 9th to evaluate the level of knowledge and acceptance of new technologies in agriculture in Piedmont region.

With a multi-actor approach, the workshop was the occasion for a fruitful dialogue among different categories of stakeholders, from agricultural entrepreneurs (breeders, fruit, vegetable and cereal producers) and cooperatives to researchers, business facilitators, associations and institutions.

During the workshop, the attendees were encouraged to take part actively in two working groups, where representatives from various sectors collaborated to identify the current state, barriers, and solutions in technology use. Some innovative solutions developed in GUARDIANS were also presented to share knowledge and exchange ideas for a sustainable agri-food sector.

The need to enhance productivity while respecting the environment, improve access to reliable data for efficient agricultural systems, and increase awareness among end-users about monitoring processes were identified. Some barriers to technology adoption were also pointed out, including high costs, regulatory restrictions, habitat and biodiversity conservation regulations, lack of specialized training, limited time to keep up with innovations, and plot fragmentation.

Dario Vallauri from MIAC affirmed: “Technological innovation and a collaborative approach are key for assuming profitability of small-medium EU farms. They need to be competitive in a traditional sector while facing globalisation, climate change challenges and foster their role as guardians of their local communities”.

Finally, the workshop identified strategies to boost the adoption of GUARDIANS’ new technologies.

Local workshops are crucial steps in GUARDIANS progress to favour the project’s co-creation and multi-actor approach to promote knowledge sharing and empower farmers as active participants in technology adoption for more sustainable farming practices.


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