Cloud-supported control of pests, data-empowered precision in the use of water and nutrients, remote monitoring of milk quality... Smart webs of connected objects are opening up new possibilities to boost productivity and sustainability in agriculture. EU-funded researchers are trialling Internet of Things solutions for farms and food.
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The IoF2020 project, launched in January 2017, is dedicated to Internet of Things (IoT) applications in support of agriculture. In a bid to foster the large-scale uptake of such solutions, it is conducting trials to demonstrate how they can help secure Europes supply of safe, healthy food and bolster the competitiveness of farms and food supply chains.
IoT technology involves data exchange between networked objects sensors, smart machines and even satellites, for instance. In addition to boosting sustainability and productivity, it can further enhance the quality, transparency and traceability of agricultural products, the IoF2020 consortium notes.
The projects trials cover five thematic areas arable farming, fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat and explore a total of 19 use cases. A number of these examples highlight further advantages, such as opportunities to improve animal welfare, streamline certification and labelling processes, reduce costs and limit spoilage. One use case focuses specifically on the interoperability of farming equipment.
No less than 71 partners, from 15 European countries to Norway, Serbia and South Korea, are collaborating in this four-year endeavour. In addition to farmers, cooperatives and research institutions, a wide variety of other participants are contributing expertise and insight on key aspects of the food supply chain. They include processing companies, logistics experts and consumer organisations.
Within the IoF2020 budget, EUR 6 million is dedicated to an open call to attract new use cases with an important impact on the food supply chain, a high level of technical feasibility and innovation as well as strong economic sustainability allowing new stakeholders as well as new regions to join the Internet of Food and Farm community.