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Go Smart - the new farming in Black Sea Basin area

More than 80 people joined in a conference on the topic “Go Smart - the new farming in Black Sea Basin area” which took place on January 21, 2022. The online event on the BSB908 Smart farming project involved partners, industry representatives, and stakeholders.

The main purpose of the project is to develop and implement a duplicate and convergence model to prepare conditions for ensuring digital transformation in agriculture and surrounding areas - a process that is going intensively all over the world.

The project partner countries are Armenia, Greece, Georgia, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania. 
The event opened with Silvia Stumpf, Chairwoman of Board, BAA, presenting “Supporting digital transformation to Increase cross-border trade opportunities and modernization in the agricultural and connected sectors – our ideas for the BSB future in farming”. 

She pointed out that the support in this sector is needed for several reasons - lack of knowledge about digitization, BSB area shows overall a larger share of agricultural and industrial sectors, traditional cultivation and livestock breeding are the most popular approaches. The digitization of the agricultural sector across the world is speeding up Smart digital farming, its expected positive impact on society. Experts point out that most farmers are not much familiar with the rapidly changing technologies and they use the traditional methods.

Kostas Zapounidis, Senior Project Manager from PIERIKI, Greece presented the project focus and context, its benefits for the digital future of farming in the BSB area.
All the partners presented their regional road maps. 

Romania - the main topics are increasing the quality and quantity of food in the agro-food industry, refurbishment in aquaculture and fisheries to support biodiversity and protect the environment, investments in the vine and wine sector. The involvement of the quadruple helix representatives is an important part of the implementation of the established measures to foster the digital transformation in the agriculture of South-Eastern Romania.

The next presentation was about the National Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Republic of Bulgaria. One of the focuses of The National Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Republic of Bulgaria, is the achievement of Sustainable Agriculture.
The component aims to increase the sustainable governance and competitiveness of the agricultural sector through measures to improve the economic sustainability of agricultural holdings and the industry as a whole in the context of climate change and the preservation of environmental characteristics.

Some of the reforms and investments planned for the implementation of the component include updating the strategic framework of the agricultural sector; fund for Promotion of the Technological and Ecological Transition of Agriculture; digitization of processes from the farm to the table.

Vision for promotion and development of smart/digital agriculture in Georgia by all stakeholders include enlargement the farms by the creation of agricultural cooperatives to share the costs of adapting smart technologies, assist the business sector to get the grants and support from donor and international organizations, revise the strategy document of the development of agriculture sector and include vision about the digital, smart farming systems, strengthening laboratory
capacity; develop the use of data of agrometeo stations, promote the smart farming agriculture systems at the local level.

Here is what the partners from Armenia presented as their road map. For farms and businesses - enlarged farming communities, climate‐based adaptive technologies, SMART villages, complete digitization of commodity sales, advanced processing products.

For civil society: farmers' acquisition of knowledge in accordance with the current challenges of intelligent agriculture, development of skills and knowledge through non‐formal education.
Moreover, as a result of an individual survey, the participants showed 100% interest in acquiring knowledge and skills about intelligent agriculture.

For the government: Development of digital agriculture strategy, promotion of digitalization of farms, for example, installation of large & small agro‐climatic stations, quantitative & qualitative mapping of farms or households.
For the academic sector: Capacity building of relevant infrastructures and laboratories.

In Greece, the use of such technologies is at a low-medium level, given the country’s circumstances. The challenges and the strategic pillars of the regional agricultural sector in Greece’s Roadmap and series of strategic pillars are, firstly, the cost of switching from traditional farming practices to more intelligent farming technologies, secondly, the exchange of the required know-how with other areas or agronomists that face similar problems, and, finally, the climate change, which also affects this transition to the digitization of agriculture. Towards this direction, there are a number of opportunities and measures aimed at the assimilation and, ultimately, the use of innovative technologies of intelligent agriculture in the Region of Pieria. These are, namely and indicatively, the application of these technologies by growers' group schemes, financing of group schemes, the geomorphological, climatic, and other characteristics of the region, the use and utilization of modern intelligent marketing techniques, the exchange of know-how with other Mediterranean countries, etc.

Impact and results of the implementation of smart agriculture can be: obtaining large and quality productions optimizing economic profits, integrated implementation of environmental protection, increasing the sustainability of agricultural systems.

The "BSB Smart Farming" Project is jointly funded by the EU and Black Sea Basin 2014-2020 joint operational program, implemented in Bulgaria by the Business agency association - Varna.

More information about the project and its activities you can find here:

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