DLG position paper on smart digital farming (Smart-AKIS)

Link to position paper

Introduction

Probably no other innovation is spreading through all aspects of agriculture as massively as digitization just now, and accordingly it is a topic of intensive discussion. Given the rising demand from a growing world population, agriculture as the basis of all primary production is faced with great challenges. As the largest user of land, the sector is also highly responsible for maintaining important environmental goods such as soil, water, climate and biodiversity. There may be conflicts between the goals of food production and environmental conservation, so that it is particularly important at prime agricultural locations such as Germany to find conflict resolutions that are supported by broad consensus in society. There is a demand for new and progressive concepts that are adapted to the diversity of the different locations and strengthen competition. Digitization will assume a key role here. These concepts can help to maintain value creation in agriculture, integrate agriculture into vital rural areas and strengthen its profile as an indispensable part of society. Digitization will change not only our entire business life, but also our social relations. Independently of the structure and size of a farm, various new digital and analog tool combinations are now appearing as an opportunity to actively join in shaping and supporting a style of agriculture fit for the future. For the agricultural sector it is all the more important to clearly define, articulate and insist on all the digitization requirements resulting from its special responsibility. Digitization in agriculture offers many opportunities, but given the extensive networking and system formations it also involves risks. That is why it must be applied carefully so that agricultural production as the essential basis of the legally anchored “Critical Infrastructure Food” (Food Security Act (EVG)) remains assured, even if digital systems should fail for a time or maybe for somewhat longer – for example as a result of sabotage. Measures to secure decentralized emergency operation of the mounted and machine controls are therefore in the interest of society as a whole.