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Minister Irena Šinko on the importance of digitalisation in agricultural development

At the invitation of the Slovene Dutch Business Platform (SDBP), Minister Irena Šinko participated via video conference in the Agro-Horti-Digitalisation event dedicated to digitalisation in agriculture and horticulture. The aim of the event is to improve business cooperation between the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Slovenia. SDBP is an important supporter and catalyst of international success and Slovenian economic breakthrough, which has been active in the Netherlands since 2003.

The Minister stressed in her speech that digital transformation of agriculture and food industry is at the centre of the new common agricultural policy and the European Green Deal. More emphasis will be put on digitalisation than even before, thereby ensuring digital and green transition in agriculture, food industry and forestry. We will promote digital transition in Slovenian agriculture with two projects. The first one is the strategic plan for the common agricultural policy for the 2023–2027 period: "With the strategic plan, we will support investment in machinery, equipment with modern IT solutions, precision agriculture and sectoral interventions in fruit and vegetable growing for promoting digitalisation by introducing artificial intelligence and machine learning into the production and processing process," said Minister Šinko.

We will also promote digitalisation in agriculture with the Recovery and Resilience Plan and its e-Farming, Food and Forestry Project ensuring the functionality, simplicity and utility of digital databases for direct use. "The digitalisation project under the Recovery and Resilience Plan consists of eight sub-projects and it includes the establishment of the National Food Institute. This will be the main pillar of the innovation ecosystem in the food supply chain," added Minister Irena Šinko.

Digitally-led systems enable the transition of agriculture to a precision farming system with a lower and more precise application of plant protection products and a more suitable application of fertilisers according to the needs of plants. They enable remote monitoring of the situation on agricultural lands and the introduction of new business models. The digitalisation in the food-processing industry also ensures greater traceability of foodstuffs, the control of the safety and quality of foodstuffs, the control of material flows for a faster transition to circular economy and bioeconomy, more efficient business operations, and food labelling.