Experts: agri-tech and education hold the key to sustainable agriculture and food production

Experts: agri-tech and education hold the key to sustainable agriculture and food production

The opportunities of agro-technologies for the development of sustainable agriculture and food production were among the topics discussed in the last panel of the three-day forum dedicated to the green transition in Central and Eastern European countries.

Ralitsa Zhekova, Head of the Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Varna, noted the importance of skills and education for the development of a competitive agricultural sector. She pointed out that together with the Agrarian University they are trying to fill the funding gap and highlighted the opportunities for start-ups in the sector through participation in various programmes. “We are trying to connect representatives of the local and regional ecosystem by creating contacts between them to collaborate and share their expertise,” Zhekova said.

The green transition is important, we have an education programme to adapt to the changes, said Marcel Ionescu, CEO of the Romanian company Agricloud. The company helps farmers with solution reports that alert them days before irreversible damage occurs to their crops, leaving them time to intervene. This is done through technology based on sensors and drones that monitor crops and provide data to an app that broadcasts signals in real time.

There are challenges ahead in terms of climate change, rising agricultural prices and production costs. The key is technology, Ionescu said. He stressed that the integration of technology in agriculture must be well understood. It is important to understand how food production will change in the next 50 years relative to what we have been used to in the last 200 years, he added. Ionescu commented that there is also a lot of resistance to change. Farmers know how to grow crops, how to take care of crops, but technology is new to them and it is important to convince them that we will have increased productivity, with up to 10 percent higher yields, through the use of technology, Ionescu said. All over the world, farmers have a labour problem, so it is important to resort to agritech, he added.

The event is organized by Dir. bg and 3E-news in partnership with Elektrohold, Euroins, Eurohold, ProCredit Bank, Visa, Glavbolgarstroy Holding, Enery, Geotechmin, GCR, UBB, Artex Engineering AD, Telelink Business Services, TotalEnergies EP Bulgaria, Compass Cargo Airlines, Devnya Cement AD with ANRAV project, UniCredit Bulbank, MET Energy Trading Bulgaria, Dundee Precious Metals, FLAG Fund, European Investment Bank, Platform Brown to Green, TPP Bobov Dol, Energeo, Bulgarian Development Bank, Electricity System Operator, Bulgartransgaz, Kercher, ENplus®, Bulgarian Atomic Forum – Bulatom, Solvay Sodi AD, Big Data for the Smart Society (GATE) Institute, DEVIN, Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (BFIEC), Kaufland, BMF Port Burgas AD, Smart Energy Trade, PIMC Ltd, Chariot Motors AD, Tumba Solutions.

Green Week 2023 is supported by BNT, BTA, BNR, bTV Media Group, Darik Radio, Economic.bg, ESGnews.bg, Euronews.