Skip to main content

Minister Podgoršek at a Slovenian-Japanese online event on smart agriculture

Minister Jože Podgoršek attended a joint Slovenian-Japanese online event on smart agriculture. The event, which is the continuation of the online AGRI-TECH event held in March last year, was intended for representatives of ministries, scientific research and educational institutions, and the interested public. The eminent Japanese expert in smart agriculture Prof. Noboru Noguchi, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Hokkaido University and Chair of the Japanese Society of Agricultural Engineering, participated in the event, which was organised by the Embassy of Japan in Ljubljana.

Minister Podgoršek stressed in the event that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Slovenia and Japan. "Relations between our two nations are traditionally friendly and fruitful. Our countries share a long history of scientific cooperation. I hope that we can enhance this cooperation and that it will lead to successful joint projects in agriculture, forestry and food."

In March last year, Slovenia became a member of the Field for Knowledge Integration and Innovation platform, which is under the responsibility of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture. The platform brings together Japanese companies and embassies, companies and researchers from participating countries. Minister Podgoršek stressed on that occasion: "I would like Slovenian companies, Slovenian researchers and scientists from Slovenian universities to be included in the platform in order to develop innovative solutions in agriculture together with their Japanese colleagues."

Minister Podgoršek continued his presentation by highlighting the importance of mitigating climate change and reducing their impact as much as possible. Slovenia and Japan are committed to a transition to a carbon-free society by 2050. This forms the basis for further action and business activities also in the field of agriculture.

Agriculture does not only face climate change, but also challenges linked to population growth and the loss of fertile agricultural land. The use of new technologies and artificial intelligence, which promote a more sustainable agricultural production, is therefore vital for the future of agriculture. Taking into account the rapid development of technological solutions, agriculture is also one of the high-tech industries.

"I would like to highlight that digitalisation is an opportunity for rural development, since it helps to reduce the gap between rural and urban areas and facilitates their connectivity. The development of digitalisation in rural areas facilitates the development of new services and job opportunities. Digital technologies are vital to support an environmentally friendly production, increase the quality of agricultural products, reduce production costs and improve the availability of reliable data; this is crucial for consumers and their food security," added Minister Podgoršek.

Smart agriculture and digital technologies are necessary to support an environmentally friendly production, increase the quality of agricultural products and reduce production costs. They improve the availability of reliable data, which are vital for consumers and their food security, since they facilitate traceability along the entire food supply chain (from farm to fork). Digital technologies offer opportunities for a more efficient cooperation in value chains by connecting producers and consumers in innovative ways. A better flow of information along agri-food chains can bring many different advantages for producers and consumers, including farmers and stakeholders involved in distribution and retail.