Future CAP needs to support smart technologies uptake for all-size farms: Contractor vouchers have a role to play

Brussels, 18 September 2019

CEETTAR and CEMA call on Member States to devise technology vouchers fostering precision farming in Europe.

A more sustainable, competitive and modern agriculture in Europe will certainly call for increasing the use of precision farming technologies. Reducing the application of inputs, improving knowledge on soil quality or facilitating day-to-day farm data management are some of the operations that can be improved by adopting smart technologies in agriculture.

However, the challenges are immense. An ageing farm workforce in the agricultural sector together with a limited capacity to invest in new technologies limits the equipment renewal’s pace. As a result, the use of precision farming tools remains low in Europe compared to other agricultural developed regions.

To reverse the trend, CEETTAR the European Confederation of Agricultural, Rural and Forestry Contractors and CEMA, the European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association have come together to propose an innovative incentive in the form of “smart technologies voucher” under the CAP 2021 – 2027 that would allow farmers to access advanced technologies delivered by land-based contractors. 

“For CEETTAR, 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, President of CEETTAR.

“To be consistent with its own priorities the next CAP should encourage investment in modern efficient machinery and Precision Agriculture Technologies. By using modern and adequate equipment and skilled workforce from contractors, all types of farms will benefit from the same level of technology according to their size”, stressed CEMA Strategic Committee Chair Gilles Dryancour.”

The joint position paper released today explains how the “smart technology voucher” would work in practice and it also includes a list of precision agriculture technologies that could be considered as a starting point suggested by both associations.

To read the full document please click HERE.