Agricultural Innovation for a Sustainable Future.
The process of innovation in the agricultural sector, which has already begun and is supported by the funds dedicated to Ecological Transition under the NRRP, is being given a strong boost by new methods of cultivation and production that respond to the urgent need for sustainability.
The increase in farm productivity, achieved through innovative techniques, contributes to the economic recovery while protecting the environment and natural resources, optimising waste, in a virtuous circle that guarantees the health of the planet and its inhabitants.
Investments in the application of 4.0 technology to the entire agrifood chain (Mission 2C1 of the Italian NRRP has earmarked €59.47 billion for the Green Revolution and Ecological Transition, of which €5.27 billion for the Circular Economy and Sustainable Agriculture) aim to make efficient use of natural water and food resources and improve the entire production sector with a view to environmental sustainability. The savings generated by the modernisation of cultivation, production and storage systems, as well as achieving a circular economy, increase the competitiveness of companies in the sector.
The growing awareness of the need for radical change in the Agriculture and Rural Development sector led to the creation of several start-ups as an ecosystem made up of incubators and accelerators, supporters, institutional investors and corporate investors, a network supporting the sector that can benefit most from technological innovation. The level of excellence of Italian AgriTech start-ups should be exported worldwide and is still little known, hence the need to create interactions between stakeholders and investors. Other realities concern “Research Consortium“, which combines the work of research institutes, university departments and companies to encourage collaboration between science and industry.
Among the Italian companies that, using the innovations of Agri-Tech, have brought about change is Irritec S.p.A., founded in Sicily and present in 150 countries around the world, where it has exported its model of “best practices” in the field of irrigation in agriculture.
Agri-Tech has the potential to address the challenges of field irrigation, animal husbandry and environmental protection, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and optimisation of water resources. The sustainable irrigation model (producing less CO2, fertilisers and pesticides, reducing water consumption and using renewable energy) has established Irritec as a leading industry in the global landscape.
The Agri-Tech sector is one of the sectors that the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce is particularly interested in, through initiatives aimed at creating opportunities for synergies between the two countries. “In Italy – said the President of the Chamber, Giuseppe Marino – we have great excellence in Agri-Tech, which offers added value to the agri-food sector and which, if exported, can contribute to Italian and Cypriot economic and commercial growth”.
On the same line, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus, Costas Kadis, who, on several occasions (including the September 2021 Smart Talk of the Chamber, which focused on Agri-Tech and Innovation in Agriculture and the linked related investments with particular attention on NRRP), reiterated the importance of digitization of the sector to increase productivity and attract long-term investment. It is worth mentioning that the Republic of Cyprus has earmarked €449.3 million (36.4% of the NRRP) for the Ecological Transition, of which €166.4 million (13.5%) for innovation in agriculture, which will positively affect the sustainable use of marine and water resources, the prevention and control of pollution, the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems, and the implementation of an environmentally friendly circular economy and waste disposal.
The Chamber of Commerce’s commitment to an expanding sector that offers interesting investment opportunities such as Agri-Tech, has been the subject of the March Smart Talk on “Innovation and Sustainability” organised on 23th March 2022 h 14.30 IT/15.30 CY, which had as a guest speaker Mr. Francesco Quagliozzi, General Manager of Irritec S.p.A.
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