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Forum for digital future of global agriculture

27. February 2018 - 15:40
Sunset on village road.
Photo: Timo Anis / Ministry of Rural Affairs.

The international discussion platform Agroforum Mare Balticum will take place on 17-19 April 2018 in Tartu. The main topic for discussion will be “Digital Future of the Global Agriculture”. The forum will be a meeting and discussion point for experts from the EU, FAO, OECD, Eastern Partnership countries, and China. This will be the sixth time the Agroforum Mare Balticum will be held.

Agroforum is a discussion platform that is special because of its format, where all three layers, i.e. policymakers, research institutions, and entrepreneurs come together to discuss on a main focal topic. This year’s Agroforum Mare Balticum will focus on digital issues in agriculture – the use of digital data created in the agricultural sector and the possibilities, limitations, and rights in its usage.

Digitalisation of agriculture helps to produce more with less and provides transparency for all citizens and an ease of bureaucratic systems for producers. Huge amounts of data is created daily in agriculture, animal husbandry, and food production regarding soil characteristics, nutrient and fertiliser use, plant protection, yield, animal welfare, health, productivity, the origin of resources, use of additional substances, etc. This begs the critical question – who owns the data? Is it the farmer or the technology company? This is one of many questions that the participants of the forum will look into during their in-depth discussions on innovation, smart solutions, and digitalisation of global agriculture and how it influences our society in general.

Agroforum Mare Balticum as a rural development forum acts as a bridge between the East and West. The 100th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Estonia will undoubtedly make this year’s Agroforum even more special and memorable. The effects of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union last year will also be felt as Estonia was the main gateway to the European Union.

The forum will involve the countries bordering the Baltic Sea (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Russia) and the Eastern Partnership countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Georgia). Kazakhstan, one of the biggest grain producers in the world, and China, a development leader in many sectors, are also invited.

The forum will take place during the annual international Agricultural Fair Maamess XXVI, which the participants will have a chance to visit. It is the biggest agricultural and rural development fair in the region, bringing together more than 500 exhibitors and more than 40 000 visitors from 10 countries.
Registration for Agroforum Mare Balticum is open until 1 April 2018 on the official website.

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