Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has opened the first digital farm in Serbia and the region, in Krivaj near Backa Topola.
The digital farm will allow farmers to learn first-hand and free of charge how to reduce the risks in production, use less water and fertilizers, invest fewer resources, and have higher yields.
Brnabic explained that the farm will enable farmers to learn on the spot and for free how to reduce risks in production, consume less water and fertilisers and invest less resources, and receive higher yields.
She said that the opening of the Digital Farm shows that Serbia is the leader in the region and that it can become a leader in Europe when it comes to digitisation and new technologies in agriculture.
In that sense, the Prime Minister stressed that the building of the BioSense Institute, which will be a European centre of scientific excellence, must be built as soon as possible, for which the government will set aside €14 million.
Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sam Fabrizi pointed out that agriculture in Serbia is an important drive and factor of development, and that in the past few years the export of agricultural products from Serbia has doubled.
The EU is today a major investor, trading partner and donor of Serbia and will continue to support it in the process of reforms in the path of European integration, but also for the benefit of the economy and citizens of Serbia, Fabrizi said.
He added that the EU would continue supporting Serbia in innovation, through the Horizons 2020 project, as well as support Serbian agriculture through the IPARD programme, which will provide 175 million EUR of financial support.
The Digital Farm was designed by the BioSens Institute in Novi Sad, in cooperation with the agricultural producer Krivaja, under the auspices of the ANTARES project which is jointly funded by the EU and the Government of Serbia with 28 million EUR.
Owing to the project, farmers will be able to learn how new technologies can help them to improve production – from land preparation, sowing, irrigation, plant nutrition to harvesting and getting ready for the next season. They will also receive information about the use of drones in mapping the terrain, monitoring the growth of crops, and detecting crop diseases.
Through this platform, farmers can also freely access satellite images of their land plots generated by the European Space Agency which are updated every five days.
(Nova Ekonomija, 20.03.2018)
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