The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism is taking major steps towards digitisation in agriculture. By means of the cluster support “Digitisation in Agriculture” (“Digitalisierung in der Landwirtschaft”) the BMLRT has set a new priority under the Austrian Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020 to make optimal use of the potentials of digitisation in agriculture and to increase the acceptance of new technologies.
Digitisation makes an important contribution to producing more sustainably, keeping rural areas attractive, improving animal health and animal welfare and avoiding emissions. Moreover, the use of new technologies facilitates work and saves working hours.
By pooling the know-how of the major players in the field of digitisation in agriculture” (e.g. research institutions, representations of interest, education and training institutions, companies dealing in agricultural technologies and stable construction etc.) a great many recommendations for action of the platform “Digitisation in agriculture” are taken up and concrete implementation starts.
With a total budget of EUR 1.9 million of EU, federal and provincial funds the following topics are to be addressed over the next 3 years, starting in January 2020:
Development and transfer of digital competences through the establishment of Innovation Farms
In addition to the agricultural expertise, the competent and secure use of digital technologies and media is increasingly gaining importance and is becoming another key qualification for agriculture.
On demonstration farms, so-called Innovation Farms, selected new technologies, trends and developments in indoor and outdoor applications are being tested and made visible, tangible and, above all, applicable. Through the linkage with training and further training as well as with advisory activities competences for the use of various technologies are developed for all age groups and the know-how is quickly put into practice.
Advisory services & farm management
Under the headline “Simplification of consulting and farm management” (“Vereinfachung der Beratung und Betriebsführung”) new technologies are incorporated to develop the advisory services and the possibilities available in farm management. The use of geoinformation, the availability and machine-readability of the legal and subsidy regulations are to be the basic prerequisites for more farm-specific advisory services and farm-related decisions.
Legal framework conditions in data management
When using digital machinery, devices, programmes and other tools, lots of data are generated. On the demonstration farms, the data flows are analysed and, through legal expertise, the associated laws for agricultural holdings are examined especially with respect to data sovereignty and data ownership. This is to create more clarity and security for the farms.
Concept and criteria for the assessment of environmental impacts of the application of diGiTal technologies
In this way the environmental impacts resulting from the use of technical innovations are to be assessed in terms of quality and quantity.
With the start of project implementation in the cluster “Digitisation in agriculture” opportunities are actively seized to become more efficient and better for the future along the entire agricultural value-added chain, in order to promote the use of digital technologies in the best possible way for our farmers.