Supporting a Regional Agricultural Sector with Geo & Mainstream ICT – the Case Study of Space4Agri Project
No 4/2014, December
Agriculture is a global issue nowadays. At the European level, it is a sector, in which we are investing many resources. In particular, the Agri-Food sector plays a central role in the policies of the European Commission and the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, as well as being the main theme of Expo 2015 that will be held in Milan, Lombardy. In the Lombardy region, the farmers represent 2% of the entire population, cultivating about 80% of the agricultural land. Increasing needs to develop a common body of knowledge shared at the regional and national level so as to make it possible to effectively monitor cropping systems, water stress and impacts of climate changes affecting more frequently the territory, are becoming more and more urgent. In this context, the project Space4Agri (S4A) intends to support the regional and local needs in terms of management of the agriculture sector, by designing and developing an information and knowledge based platform for managing geospatial and mainstream information by making it accessible over the Internet by standard communication technologies (Geo&Mainstream ICT). This platform has been designed to allow data workflows integrating i) spatial data and observations, ii) non-spatial information available from existing agronomic databases, iii) data collected in the field by farmers, agronomists and volunteers using mobile applications, iv) data collected by unmanned aerial sensors, and/or data produced by researchers as a result of applying scientific analysis on high quality remote sensing data. Foreseen results of the Space4Agri project and from other similar ongoing research activities may significantly spur the socio-economic development of Europe and create new growth opportunities for companies, public administrations, students and citizens.
Agriculture, Geo & Mainstream ICT, Space4Agri, Lombardy.