Andrea Gasparri is a professor of System and Control Theory at Roma Tre University. He's also a project coordinator with the European research project PANTHEON, working to develop the precision farming of hazelnut orchards. He spoke to Euronews' Denis Loctier for Futuris.
"I believe that the agriculture of tomorrow will be different from what we see every day at the moment, because we will see more technology, we will see more effectiveness in terms of how we’re going to use our resources, and we will try to make the sustainability more and more doable over time.
"And precision farming is actually going in that direction — it not only wants to increase the quality, but also to make the whole process more sustainable from the environmental point of view.
"What the farmers have understood a long time ago is that they needed to be able to monitor with a higher level of resolution what was going on in their field, but clearly that was not possible. What the technology brought there is the capability to virtualise and to be able to actually follow and monitor what was going on in the field, and get real-time data about the state of the field. And this will allow, clearly, a more resolute action, and that’s what they need at the moment.
"What we’re trying to do is to help the farmer and the agronomist handle the management of an orchard of a larger scale, doing the work that would be tedious and undoable if you want to scale up things in terms of dimension. It’s not like we’re replacing jobs — we’re providing some tools to support the work of the farmers and to make it better".