The Digital Agency of Belgium’s Walloon Region is promoting smart farming. At the Libramont agriculture, forestry and agri-food fair and exhibition this week, the agency co-organised a section showcasing nine companies that have developed innovative ICT uses for farming.
According to Digital Wallonia, smart farming lets farmers tailor the use of fertiliser, pesticides, fodder and water to their specific crops and livestock. This helps to lower the environmental impact of agriculture, while increasing farms’ competitiveness. Smart farming also creates new business opportunities.
At the fair a “farm of the future” was showcased. The farm near Havelange uses information and communication technology for agriculture, horticulture, aquaponics, and parmaculture. ICT is used to manage and improve insect breeding and milk production, and is implemented in biogas installations and waste-recycling.
Several companies are working on the use of new ICT technologies including drones and satellites, for precision farming and decision support, to optimise agricultural production. Examples include precise application of nitrogen, phosphates, potassium and water, and high resolution weather forecasts. Other projects are looking into ways to improve irrigation, food security and vineyard production.
Another agriculture technology company showcased its solution to improve management of milk production, by sharing data with veterinarians and farm nutritionists. This company is also working on smart phone applications that can notify breeders in real time of changes to monitored animals.
The Libramont fair took place from 28 July to 2 August.