Towards a European agriculture data space
Recent years have seen an increasing interest in the use of digital technologies as tools to contribute to the wide sustainability of the agri-food sector. Precision/smart farming, Agriculture 4.0, and the like are concepts no longer attached to academic research, but they have been making their way through the market and the real life of farmers during the past years. Smart farming techniques supported by new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, IoT, drones and Big Data play a key role in streamlining and making processes more efficient, resulting in a cost reduction for farmers, improving soil management and water quality, reducing the use of fertilisers, pesticides and GHG emissions, improving animal health and wellbeing, and creating a healthier environment for biodiversity, farmers and citizens. As a direct consequence, this can also lead to the creation of new products and services that farmers and their cooperatives, by being better skilled and equipped, will thus be able to provide to the society as a whole. Moreover, agricultural robots and Artificial Intelligence are helping to tackle some of the labour shortages in rural areas, helping to handle essential agricultural tasks such as harvesting crops or milking cows. Clearly, digital technologies bring a positive impact in farming productivity and environmental footprint, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and climate change strategies….