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Minister dr Podgoršek attends an online conference on the potential of Slovenia and Japan in agriculture

Minister Dr Jože Podgoršek addressed this morning via videoconference the participants of the online conference on the development potential in agriculture entitled "AgriTech – Discover the potential of Slovenia and Japan in agriculture". The event was organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Tokyo, SPIRIT Slovenia Public Agency, and Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Dr Ana Polak Petrič, the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Japan, Mr Hiromichi Matsushima, the Ambassador of Japan to Slovenia, and the Parliamentary Vice-Minister Dr Seishi Kumano also addressed the participants along with Minister Dr Jože Podgoršek. Ms Dijana Madžarac from the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia presented the business and investment environment in Slovenia, and Dr Tatjana Zagorc, the Director of the Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, described the potential of the Slovenian agricultural sector. Mr Boris Nicolas Erjavec, the Executive Director of the AGRA International Fair of Agriculture and Food, outlined this year's activities and plans of the AGRA Fair and the expectations for 2022. Dr Takuya Sato from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture gave an overview of the functioning of the Field for Knowledge Integration and Innovation (FKII) platform.

Furthermore, six Slovenian and Japanese companies presented their innovative solutions in agriculture: Kubota Corporation (Japan), Acies BIO (Slovenia), Ac Planta (Japan), ARK Inc. (Japan) and PanOrganix (Slovenia).

The focal points of the virtual conference:

  • Slovenia and Japan are committed to the transition to a carbon-free society by 2050. This forms the basis for further action and business activities, including in the field of agriculture.
  • Climate change, population growth and the loss of fertile arable land are great challenges for agriculture. The use of new technologies and artificial intelligence, which also promote a more sustainable agricultural production, is therefore key to the future of agriculture.
  • The two countries encourage cooperation in agriculture, aiming to enhance it in the future. There are several common characteristics to the agricultural sector in both countries, such as small family farms and labour shortage in farms.
  • On 22 March 2021, Slovenia decided to become a member of the Field for Knowledge Integration and Innovation (FKII) platform, which falls within the competence of Japan's Ministry of Agriculture. The platform includes 3000 representatives from around the globe and around 200 innovative projects are being developed in the framework of the platform. The platform brings together Japanese companies and companies from participating countries, the Japanese government, 26 foreign countries represented by their embassies (e.g. India, the Netherlands, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Poland and, from now on, also Slovenia), and researchers from all the participating countries. It will be crucial in the future to include Slovenian companies as well as Slovenian researchers, scientists and universities in the FKII projects, enabling them to develop innovative solutions in agriculture together with their Japanese colleagues.