A new Welsh Government plan is aiming to ensure the agriculture sector in Wales fully benefits from digital technology.
Announced as the Winter Fair is underway at the Royal Welsh Showground, the Agri-Tech Action Plan for Wales sets out a vision to support the sector to be profitable, efficient and sustainable, and exploit the potential of agri-tech through four priorities.
These priorities aim to see an acceleration in agri-tech capabilities, a drive in on-farm adoption of productivity enhancing agri-tech initiatives, deliver environmental benefits and support educational and skills development to fully exploit agri-tech.
The plan will help those in the agriculture sector by, for example, making farm activities more efficient and precise. With the aid of technology, agricultural inputs including water and fertiliser can be linked to plant, animal, and soil conditions helping to reduce waste and costs to the farmer.
Collaboration will be key in ensuring the industry realises the benefits of agri-tech, and the plan has been developed closely working with stakeholders, including from industrial bodies, agricultural practitioners, and academic communities.
Farming Connect's work will be important in supporting the plan and existing funding is already helping farms across Wales to adopt agri-tech.
Activities include the Farming Connect demonstration farm network, “Our Farms”, to showcase data and case studies to promote agri-tech whilst delivering events targeting its use and raise awareness and provide support to the sector in its journey of using technology.
Farming Connect also offers accredited training and e-learning courses to improve technology skill level and confidence, enabling more people to adopt agri-tech on farms whilst the Advisory Service offers subsidised one-to-one and group advice.
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths yesterday said:
We are living in a digital age and grasping the full benefits of digital technology is vital for the agriculture industry in driving innovation and boosting business.
The Agri-Tech Action Plan for Wales will be a central point for the sector and support it to take advantage of what digital technology can do for them. The Farming Connect service will work closely with the industry and support it to embrace the positive impact technology can have.
Eirwen Williams, Director at Menter a Busnes who deliver Farming Connect along with Lantra Wales yesterday said:
We have tailored various elements of the Farming Connect programme to offer support to farmers and help them drive business forward. Embracing technology is important in doing this.
The Agri-Tech Action Plan for Wales can found at: https://www.gov.wales/agri-tech-action-plan.