24 November 2016. On 14 and 15 November ESPI Resident Fellow Dr. Stefano Ferretti participated in the workshop "When Space Meets Agriculture - Fostering Interregional collaborations, investments and definition of user requirements” organized by the Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies (NEREUS) in Matera, Italy. NEREUS aims at exploring the benefits of space technologies for European regions and its citizens and to spread their applications, while promoting the regional dimension of European Space Policy and programs as well as end-user needs.

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ESPI was invited to chair the second session of its workshop addressing the topic “Space Technologies for Agriculture”. The session began with key European stakeholders discussing what Copernicus can do for farmers and for European Agriculture Policy. Then Prof. Tramutoli, co-chairman of the Working Group EO/Copernicus, presented the report “How Can Earth Observation Make a Difference for the Agriculture Sector”, which can be downloaded here, outlining the key recommendations stemming out of the study in the areas of: risk management system for insurance purposes, precision agriculture and livestock, natural hazards protection, soil quality and degradation, drought monitoring, irrigation management, landscape protection and development, biodiversity protection, rural development, support to local administrations in charge of controls on eligibility of farmers for European Union aids.

The overall aim of the workshop promoted a better understanding of the significance and potential of Europe´s space systems, Copernicus and EGNOS/Galileo, for the agricultural sector. Other sessions in the workshop discussed Rural Development Programmes of selected NEREUS regions and explored opportunities to set synergies for the development of space applications for the agriculture sector. Moreover, the workshop presented the main strands of the European Agriculture Policy which linked the space community to the agriculture community.

Participants at the workshop included farmers, policy makers, entrepreneurs and researchers from both the agriculture and the space sector. It also provided a dedicated brokerage event designed to enable matchmaking between participants through bilateral meetings.

Background information can be found here.

Presentations can be found here.

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