Land-based contractors call for smart technology vouchers

CEETTAR proposes the CAP to set up a new and innovative incentive in the form of a “smart technologies voucher”.

The new post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy proposal grants more responsibilities to Member States for achieving the new green architecture goals. Member States should design their future national strategic plans so that EU farmers and foresters of all sizes can access the precision and low carbon emission technologies provided by rural, agricultural and forestry contractors.

In line with these goals, CEETTAR proposes the CAP to set up a new and innovative incentive in the form of a “smart technologies voucher” to be allocated to farmers and forest owners and to be released by contractors.

On 1 and 2 July 2019, CEETTAR held its General Assembly hosted in Bordeaux by its French Member FNEDT. For CEETTAR Members, only a strong EU can respond to global challenges. Humankind’s future ability to feed itself is in jeopardy due to intensifying pressures on natural resources, demographic situation, and the fallout from a changing climate. Major transformations in agricultural systems, rural economies and forestry work will be needed if we are to meet the multiple challenges in front of us and realize the full potential of agriculture and forestry to ensure a secure and healthy future for all Europeans.

Contractors already have strongly invested and are going to invest into digital technology, innovation, skills and the circular economy. CEETTAR believes that the future EU Common Agriculture Policy and other EU financial support schemes should recognise the role of land-based contractors in the use and uptake of innovative technologies for all land-based activities.

Farmers and forest owners and contractors’ economic relationship is ruled by principles similar to those underpinning the sharing economy system. By using the equipment and the skilled workforce provided by contractors, all types of farms and forest holdings benefit from the same quality of technology in proportion of their respective size. This allows farms or forest units run by an ageing workforce and small holdings to compete with bigger farms equipped with the most-advanced equipment.

“For CEETTAR, these future CAP objectives open a window of opportunities to support the use of innovative technologies in all agricultural, rural and forestry activities. Member States should design their national strategic plans towards issuing a smart technologies voucher to the farmer and the forest owner, to be released by the contractor. The amount of the annual voucher would be calculated on a given percentage of the total cost of the service representing the precision agriculture part of it”, said Klaus Pentzlin, the re-elected President of CEETTAR.

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