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An experiential field visit to discover Smart Farming in Kalamata

On Saturday, April 27th, representatives of European institutions, experts, executives of the Ministry of Rural Development & Food, agronomists, etc.,  along with representatives of the management and executives of GAIA EPICHEIREIN and NEUROPUBLIC S.A., made a visit in an olive grove of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Messinia, in order to learn more about the gaiasense smart farming system but also to the Kalamata Olive Oil Taste Laboratory of the University of the Peloponnese.

The visit took place one day after the completion of the 10th Panhellenic Congress on the Development of Greek Agriculture organized by GAIA EPICHEIREIN in Kalamata.

Jaime Lillo Lopez, Executive Director of the International Olive Council (IOC), Koen Dillen, Head of the Arable Crops and Olive Oil Unit of the General Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, Yves Madre, President of FARM Europe, Leonardo Pofferi, Vice-President of the General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives of the EU (COGECA) and John Baffes, Senior Economist of the World Bank’s Outlook Group, attended the visit.

Also present were the President of GAIA EPICHEIREIN Christos Avgoulas, the CEO of GAIA EPICHEIREIN Elli Tsiforou, the Senior Manager of NEUROPUBLIC Dimitris Kapnias, the Commercial Director of NEUROPUBLIC, Giorgos Papadimas, the President of the Association of Agricultural Cooperative Organizations and Enterprises of Greece (S. A.S.O.O.E.E.) Giorgos Katsoulis, as well as representatives of the local agri-food ecosystem of the Region of Messinia.

The visit took place in an olive grove of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Messinia, in which are deployed an agrometeorological station of the gaiasense smart farming, as well as an electronic trap for the control of olive fly, both technological solutions developed by NEUROPUBLIC.

The goal of the visit was to inform the attendees in an experiential way about the operation of smart farming systems and to have them pose their questions regarding the environmental and economic benefits of smart farming for farmers as well as the benefits for consumers.

During the visit to the olive grove, executives from GAIA EPICHEIREIN and NEUROPUBLIC, analyzed the way how important data related to good cultivation practices is digitally recorded (in relation to the atmosphere, soil, and plant), all of which have been adopted with the support of smart farming.

The olive producer, for his part, Mr Paganis, described both the gaiasense app that he uses in his mobile phone and the operation of the agro-meteorological station. He also explained how the gaiasense smart farming system has helped him in all stages of the production process and cultivation care of his olive grove, by observing the recorded data and receiving specialized advices.

Afterwards, a visit was made to the Kalamata Olive Oil Taste Laboratory of the University of the Peloponnese. The Director of the Laboratory and Professor of the Department of Agriculture of the University of Peloponnese, Mr. Vassilis Dimopoulos, and the Quality and Communication Manager, Ms. Anna Milioni, presented the laboratory’s work and initiatives regarding the enhancement of olive oil quality.  Also, a fruitful exchange of views on the digital transformation of agriculture took place as well as a presentation of the project “Agriculture with Intelligence”, in the presence of the Regional Vice- Governor of Messinia of the Peloponnese Region, Mr. Stathis Anastasopoulos. The event concluded with a tasting session of extra virgin olive oils from the region.

This action took place in the framework of the CAP4Food project.