Big Data Key to Unlocking Innovation in Agriculture for Future Food Security
Keynote address at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture by André Laperrière, Executive Director, of the Global Open Data Initiative for Agriculture and Nutrition, GODAN and Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, Copa - Cogeca
20th June 2018, Utrecht, Netherlands - The need for advancement of data driven agriculture that will lead the future of innovations in Agriculture has set the agenda at the opening ceremony of the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) in Utrecht, Netherlands from 20th to 21st June 2018, as partner of the first International Week for Smart Food Production (IWSFP). Keynote addresses by An-dré Laperrière, Executive Director, of the Global Open Data Initiative for Agriculture and Nutrition, GODAN addressed the need for data driven agriculture to set the road to innovation in agriculture and was echoed by Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, Copa - Cogeca - the united voice of farmers and their cooperatives in the European Union who echoed the need for Big Data to support the ambitious objectives of European Farmers.
GFIA Europe the two-day exhibition and conference as part of IWSFP brings together the food and agriculture industries on a global scale for the first time to debate the biggest challenges to drive sus-tainable agriculture for increased productivity and food security in Europe and the World and marks a significant step towards addressing food security and cultivating change to sustainably feed nine bil-lion people by 2050.
Pekka Pesonen in his opening address said: “The agricultural industry has seen substantial changes over the past century. It has moved forwards to an era with digitally enhanced agriculture, precision farming, automated vehicles, robots, drones, biotechnology. Yet this is no longer the stuff of the fu-ture, but actually reality for many farms and cooperatives. The use of modern machinery, equipped with GPS, supported by EU systems such as Galileo and Copernicus and big data can help farmers to achieve ambitions objectives. We support our European businesses to develop new, innovative solu-tions for farming, in particular taking into account our European conditions. Survival of European ag-riculture requires superior knowledge and use of the latest innovative technologies, in line with con-sumer market expectations. It’s therefore of European farmers interest that Europe remains a global leader in research and innovation in order to ensure farmers reap the benefits of new technologies and solutions adapted to our farmer’s needs.”
André Laperrière remarked: “Innovation is key to help the world meet the security challenges that lie ahead of this planet, with 50% more of us to sustain before the 2050 timeframe. Knowledge or data is the key to innovation and the way to make things differently, better, cheaper and more efficient, more sustainable. Innovation is key to progress; innovation in agriculture and nutrition, is the necessary path to the world’s survival. Innovation should not be for the happy few, but for all those involved in the food ecosystem, including farmers big and small from every part of the world.”
He added that: “Innovation can be in may forms a technique that exits somewhere else and can be an innovation once it is brought in; a tool or practice that was once used, and then forgotten; a combina-tion of existing tools or a modification of something so that it acquires new properties; all of these point to data driven agriculture. Agriculture through facts, knowledge, empowerment. Let’s tap into the world’s capacity to innovate.”
In a first for GFIA, the opening ceremony was concluded with a keynote speech by Bas Lansorp, CEO and Co-founder of Mars One, the Dutch foundation that aims to land the first humans on Mars in 2030. He shared the business model for a manned mission to Mars and the complexities of finding a crew that can do it and the need to establish a closed sustainable agricultural ecosystem. Bas stated: “Mars One's mission is feasible because it is a mission of permanent settlement, there is no return trip. It will be extremely important to produce food locally both for the business case and for the wellbeing of the Mars settlers. We have been undertaking numerous successful agricultural projects driven by innovations to replicate the growing conditions on Mars.”
Nicola Davison GFIA Conference Director in her closing remarks and officially opening of the event said: “GFIA has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the World and we have no doubt that the next two-days will foster meaningful dialogue, collaboration, recognition and year-round action between regional food producers, buyers, innovators, policy makers and investors. This year we are pleased to welcome international delegations from Australia, UAE and countries from the North African Business Council including Mali, Niga, Baku Fasa to GFIA and the Netherlands.”
GFIA Europe runs until the 21st June 2018 alongside a series of other pioneering agricultural events including VIV Europe 2018, European Halal Expo and the Proagrica Future Farming Theatre.
ABOUT GFIA Europe
Cultivating Change. Born with the belief that continuous innovation in agriculture is the only way to sustainably feed nine billion people by 2050, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food produc-tion, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the world. Since 2014, GFIA events have wel-comed over 25,000 visitors and worked with over 50 globally significant partners committed to using the Forum as a catalyst for change.