Precision agriculture can offer solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. How can individual farmers utilize them? How can family farms adapt? These questions, and more, were explored at the Farminar organized by the Netherlands Embassy in Hungary and the Hungarian Society for Precision Agriculture on 12 January.
Strong traditions in agriculture
The conference was opened by Ambassador of the Netherlands to Hungary H. E. Rene van Hell, who highlighted that precision methods are, on the one hand, sustainable and on the other, very pragmatic and profitable for farmers. This new paradigm is a good opportunity for the cross-pollination of knowledge and experience among sectors. Ambassador van Hell also mentioned that Hungary and the Netherlands both have strong traditions in agriculture as well and that precision methods can lead to new frontiers for fruitful business cooperation. He also stressed the importance of family farms, the backbone of the rural agricultural scene and that the success of the Dutch model has been dependent on two important things: agricultural research and development, and Dutch family farmers.
Dr. Laszlo Hayde of IHE Delft explained the latest global trends in irrigation. While 2.8 billion people are affected by at least one month of water scarcity every year, and agriculture today constantly has to compete for the world’s precious water supply, precision irrigation can provide solutions to many problems connected to droughts. Employing these solutions on a smaller scale is possible and can have a huge effect. These implementations can include storage facilities based on rainwater infiltration through the soil and water-storing greenhouse roofs. Other solutions, like water retainers, can help reduce water loss through evaporation. While a lot of improvement depends on smart design and management style, the reliance on new methods and training can be a smart economic choice.
Read the full report on the website of the Dutch Ministry.