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NEWS

Ms PIVEC: "Digitalisation is one of the most important areas in drafting the new strategy for agriculture"

Berlin, 19 January 2019 – The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Aleksandra Pivec, today attended the 11th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference, whose focus is on smart solutions for future farming. Ms Pivec participated in the conference panel on the expansion and protection of farmers' access to digital technology. She emphasised that digitalisation in agriculture is a high priority in Slovenia. At the end of today's meeting the ministers adopted a joint declaration.

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Aleksandra Pivec, started today's visit in Berlin by participating in the 11th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference, organised by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The topic of the ministers' discussion was "Agriculture Goes Digital – Smart Solutions for Future Farming". The discussion focused on digital technologies and their potential in agriculture, farmers’ access to modern technologies, the use, security and sovereignty of data, and structural changes in agriculture and rural areas.

 

The main objective of digitalisation is to improve various farming methods and models with new innovative approaches so that more can be achieved (better quality and larger quantity of products) with less (less raw material, energy and work). This requires farmers to precisely follow all technological instructions and include digital technologies that facilitate farm management decisions that are more precise and more quickly made. However, the use of new technologies must not negatively affect the environment. On the contrary, it is prerequisite that they have a positive impact on the environment and preserve it. One example is precise farming, which limits emissions, consequently reducing the use of inputs (fertilisers, seeds, protection products), while product quantity and quality are increased through proper plant care. Innovations and digital technologies will enable us to respond more quickly to climate change, both by mitigating and adapting to its consequences.

 

Ms Pivec participated in the conference panel on expanding and protecting farmers’ access to digital technology. She highlighted Slovenia’s demographic structure among the country’s challenges, along with the natural and structural characteristics of Slovenian agriculture. She also emphasised that digitalisation is one of the Government’s priorities and that it requires inter-ministerial cooperation. One of its aspects is the security of data stored in various databases. "However, we also have to ensure that these data are accessible, as it is in the interests of consumers to have access to information concerning food safety." Ms Pivec added that in addition to challenges we also face opportunities. "With the generational renewal of the agricultural sector, digitalised agriculture is expanding. Improving educational structures and the transfer of knowledge to end users (farmers) is also important and should be particularly focused on accessibility for small farms. Ms Pivec also emphasised that digitalisation is one of the most important areas in relation to drafting the new strategy for the development of Slovenian agriculture and she expressed her hope for cooperation with other countries and the exchange of good practices in this area.

 

Ms Pivec will conclude her visit to the German capital at an evening meeting with Slovenians living in Berlin. This year Slovenia is again participating at the Green Week fair, which is the 84th in a row. In addition to traditional Slovenian cuisine, the exhibition stand presents Slovenia as a country with a long tradition of hop growing and brewing. Visitors can also learn about Slovenian start-up companies, beekeeping and tourism.