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MABEWO - AN INVESTMENT IN THE FUTUREFrom Switzerland for the world

07 February 2024
The future of European agriculture: innovation in the face of challenges
Nachhaltigkeit und KI

Fear of the future and uncertainties regarding the far-reaching changes in agriculture, or "don't be afraid, there is a positive development through technology".

Agriculture, one of mankind's oldest professions, is undergoing a significant transformation, with farmers increasingly becoming energy farmers and using high-tech solutions to specialize the agriculture of the future. Jörg Trübl, founder and CEO of MABEWO, is convinced that a key focus is on creating synergies between crop cultivation and additional power generation. Today, the farmer's professional field not only includes food production, but also turns the farmer into an energy farmer. "From the laborious manual work of days gone by to the advancing digitalization and focus on sustainable practices, modern agriculture has undergone a transformative journey," says Jörg Trübl.

Tradition meets technology: agriculture yesterday and today

Farming in the past was characterized by physically demanding work and relied on human labour. Just a century ago, it took a group of men a whole day to mow a two-hectare field of grain. Manual labor, horsepower and simple tools determined the daily lives of farmers. Today, however, technology has arrived. Modern combine harvesters do the same work in less than an hour, efficiently and precisely. The changes can be seen not only in the speed, but also in the effectiveness.

Machines have revolutionized the way farmers work. From planting to harvesting, from animal care to milk production - modern farms rely on mechanization and digitalization. Seeding and harvesting machines, combine harvesters and milking machines make work less strenuous and allow many processes to be controlled remotely. These changes have not only increased productivity, but have also expanded the variety of tasks that farmers have to manage.

Innovation as a driver of sustainable agriculture

A look into the future of agriculture reveals a changing landscape. The European Green Deal positions farmers as key players in environmental protection. Companies such as MABEWO are focusing on innovative solutions for controlled outdoor cultivation and indoor farming. Jörg Trübl from MABEWO emphasizes the importance of technology in making agriculture more sustainable. Innovations are the key to harmoniously combining different goals such as productivity, environmental protection and animal welfare.

A key aspect of this change is the creation of synergies between crop cultivation and energy production. Agro-solar projects are promising, but it is important to ensure that the use of arable land for energy production is closely linked to agricultural yields. If these measures do not lead to an increase in yield, farmers will lack an economic incentive to install PV modules on their fields.

Other challenges include intensive cultivation, which requires detailed monitoring of the water and nutrient supply, making the use of data networks and wireless networks necessary. This contributes to quality assurance and increased yields. The necessary urbanization in urban areas leads to soil sealing and a loss of arable land, which increases the challenges for farmers. New approaches such as indoor farming offer solutions by enabling control over environmental conditions and shortening transportation distances. This helps farmers to increase their yields and free up land for biodiversity or energy production.


Europe's collective strength: European Green Deal

The European Green Deal opens up an outstanding opportunity for the future of European agriculture by placing a clear focus on sustainability and environmental protection.  This initiative positions farmers as key players in the fight against climate change and promotes innovative solutions to make agriculture more efficient and environmentally friendly. Companies like Switzerland's MABEWO play a crucial role in tackling these challenges. At Agritechnica 2023 in Hanover, MABEWO presented innovative solutions for controlled outdoor cultivation and indoor farming that lay the foundations for sustainable agriculture. Jörg Trübl, emphasizes the importance of equipping agriculture with new technologies and promoting decentralized solutions instead of relying on large centralized systems. This shift towards sustainable and technology-driven agriculture will lead the industry into the future. Jörg Trübl explains that by using artificial intelligence and data management, farmers can make precise irrigation and shading decisions. A platform with centralized access to government data and services will create the basis for more efficient agriculture. Digitalization makes it possible to use resources more efficiently and meet the challenges of climate change.

Innovation as the key to sustainable agriculture

Innovations are the key to technical, biological and social progress. In a world that is constantly changing, proven concepts alone are not enough. New challenges require innovative solutions, especially when it comes to harmoniously combining different goals such as productivity, environmental protection and animal welfare. But in Germany and other parts of Europe, innovations are often met with skepticism. Complex interrelationships and a lack of trust in experts lead to restrictive decisions and an exodus of research capacities.

The solution lies in greater involvement of independent experts in decisions on research and innovation. Instead of opinion polls, transparent evaluation criteria should form the basis for decisions. Digitalization plays a decisive role in this by making agriculture more cost-efficient and sustainable.

The role of digitalization in agriculture

Digitization as a solution in the agricultural sector. The exponential increase in computer speed and data storage capacity drastically reduces the costs of logistics and information processing. Digital products can be reproduced almost free of charge, revolutionizing business models. Digitalization will change structures in agriculture by creating platforms that link many players in the value chain.

The provision of public data of appropriate quality and timeliness is crucial for agriculture and food. A genuine platform with centralized access to government data and services will create the basis for more efficient agriculture. Another key aspect is the integration of artificial intelligence and data management in agriculture. This will make it possible to make precise decisions on irrigation and shading of fields, allowing resources to be used more efficiently. In addition, climate change may require the introduction of new plant species and cultivation on previously unused land due to changing temperature conditions.

Challenges and opportunities for farmers

Digitalization opens up new opportunities for farmers, but also harbours risks. Agriculture is becoming more efficient, more environmentally friendly and more animal-friendly. Data security and data sovereignty are relevant issues. The development of alternatives to chemical pesticides and the promotion of climate-friendly plant varieties is becoming increasingly important worldwide.

The fight against species extinction

The extinction of species and the loss of biodiversity are ecological crises that urgently need to be tackled. One way to reduce the use of pesticides is to focus the entire agricultural sector on environmental protection and resource conservation. Organic farming and integrated pest management are steps in the right direction.

A promising future for European agriculture

Despite the challenges, agriculture offers a promising future. A willingness to innovate, a spirit of invention and the right use of technology will make it possible to create a sustainable agriculture that combines environmental protection, food security and profitability. Companies like MABEWO play a key role in shaping this future. In a world facing the key challenge of food security, European agriculture shows a promising future. In the face of climate change and increasing resource scarcity, agriculture is leading the way in how we produce food. Thanks to innovative technologies and advancing digitalization, smart strategies for sustainable, technology-based food production systems are emerging. Modern agriculture plays a key role in this, from the provision of raw materials to the production of food. Agritechnica 2023 in Hanover showed that European agriculture is leading the way and is ready to meet the challenges of the future.

The "Inhouse Farming - Feed & Food Show" as a new part of Agritechnica, initiated by the DLG, offered a platform for the agriculture and food industry of the future to exchange ideas and promote visionary concepts. Jörg Trübl emphasized the need for intensive dialogue to ensure a successful transformation in these sectors and to strengthen food security worldwide. The DLG acted as a leading network and platform for global challenges in the area of food security, with the aim of shaping the future of the agriculture and food industry.

The renaissance of the farmer as energy farmer

Trübl is convinced that agriculture is undergoing a transformation from traditional methods to technologically advanced and sustainable practices. "Farmers are not only producers of food, but also guardians of the environment," says Trübl. The European Green Deal and innovative companies show that the future of agriculture lies in the hands of energy farmers - farmers who use technology, act in an environmentally conscious manner and master the challenges of the time.

The path to a sustainable future begins in the field, shaped by the hands and minds of modern energy farmers.

Autor: Maximilian Bausch - Blogger

Maximilian is enthusiastic about automation as a means of making work easier. Progress and further development are his passion. In a world where automation has become indispensable, no sector - be it industry, trade or services - remains untouched. Generations X, Y and Z have fully embraced digitalization, dividing the future into new, limitless paths.