Parliamentary questions
30 April 2015
O-000045/2015
Question for oral answer
to the Commission
Rule 128
Nicola Caputo, Jan Huitema, Patricija Šulin, Laurențiu Rebega, Marc Tarabella, Norbert Erdős, José Blanco López, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Viorica Dăncilă, Victor Negrescu, Tibor Szanyi, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Angel Dzhambazki, Peter Jahr, Alessia Maria Mosca, Michela Giuffrida, Renata Briano, Iratxe García Pérez, Fredrick Federley, Marit Paulsen, Hilde Vautmans, Jens Rohde, Julie Girling, Momchil Nekov, Michel Dantin, Pavel Poc, Miroslav Poche, Anthea McIntyre, Francesc Gambús, Ivan Jakovčić, Dominique Bilde, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Barbara Kappel, Damiano Zoffoli, Philippe De Backer, Renato Soru, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Nedzhmi Ali, Paolo De Castro, Jens Gieseke, Brando Benifei, Esther Herranz García, Ulrike Müller, José Inácio Faria, Christel Schaldemose, Ivana Maletić, Rolandas Paksas, Daniel Dalton, Vladimir Urutchev, Angélique Delahaye, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Maria Noichl, Nicola Danti, Igor Šoltes, Albert Deß, Francisco José Millán Mon, Anne Sander, Ivo Vajgl, Giovanni La Via, Daniel Buda, Younous Omarjee, Pina Picierno, Frédérique Ries, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Milan Zver, Ricardo Serrão Santos

 Subject: EU agricultural innovation systems

It is critical that the EU agriculture sector proactively embrace innovation if it is to maintain its economic competitiveness and address sustainability challenges.

The emergence of connected agriculture, which, inter alia, uses hi-tech sensors to monitor farm production and health disorders in animals, offers scope for savings across the entire food production value chain. This includes a move towards the automation of transport and logistics, which would bring farming products closer to the consumer and allow quicker and more precise stock management in warehouses and retail stores.

Smart farming systems that use cameras and other forms of technology could improve irrigation efficiency and save water. Precision farming, which involves data-based technologies, including satellite navigation tools and the internet, could help EU farmers manage crops and reduce the use of fertilisers and pesticides.

EU seed banks contain a wealth of genetic material that could be used to develop new varieties.

Unfortunately, there is evidence that the links between research, farmers and the food industry are too weak. Too many innovation opportunities remain untapped and too many research questions from the sector remain unanswered.

Can the Commission explain how it intends to strengthen and promote agricultural innovation systems and make them more accessible to EU farmers?

Last updated: 5 May 2015Legal notice