Source: eKapija | Sunday, 25.03.2018.| 21:30
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Serbia gets first digital farm – BioSense planning new complexes dedicated to smart agriculture

(Photo: Sanja Šojić)
The first digital farm in Serbia opened on March 20 at Krivaja near Backa Topola. Farmers from Backa will thereby by able to check the weather on their mobile phones instead of checking out the weather forecast. The complex was designed and realized by the BioSense Institue in cooperation with the agricultural producer Krivaja d.o.o.

The digitalization of farms is made possible with the help of drones, sensors, the robots Lala and Sosa, as well as satellite images which enable agriculturists to see, for example, how much water and fertilization the crops need.

– We have smartphones, smart cars, smart vacuum cleaners at homes. When we book a hotel, we check the recommendations, when you want to cook something, you look up the recipes online. On the other hand, these digital trends have kind of bypassed agriculture, at least in the systemic sense. This is changing now – says Vladimir Crnojevic, director of BioSense.

He explains that, at the moment, the biggest global innovations are being made in the field of agriculture and that big companies invest a lot in new systems.

The idea is to bring high science closer to the level of ordinary people, Crnojevic says. He announces that more digital farms will be made in the next three years, which will be thematically oriented towards organic production, fruit growing, viticulture...

– The digitalization enables the getting of larger yields and sustainable agricultural production with less input – Crnojevic concludes.

Istvan Harmati, owner of Krivaja, clarifies that the farm which was digitalized takes up 2,325 hectares.

– The new technology provides us with the possibility of constantly learning, advancing, changing the way of thinking and increasing the efficiency and the profitability. This technology enables us to get to know our fields, to track changes in them and to efficiently work on maintaining agricultural land – Harmati explained.

Free IT training and equipment for agriculturists

The opening of the first digital farm was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. She explained that the farm would enable agriculturists to learn first-hand and for free how to reduce production risks, spend less water and fertilizer and invest less, while getting bigger yields.

– We informed all the registered farms today that the digital farm had opened and how they could benefit from it. Also, an invitation to all agriculturists for free IT training and equipment will follow – Brnabic announced.

(Photo: Sanja Šojić)
The Head of EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, pointed out that agriculture was an important factor of development in Serbia and that the export of agricultural products from Serbia had doubled in the previous few years.

The EU, Fabrizi said, will continue providing support to Serbia in innovations through the Horizon 2020 project, as well as to Serbian agriculture through the IPARD program, which would provide EUR 175 million.

He explained that the digital farm had been designed as part of the ANTARES project, jointly financed by the EU and the Government of Serbia. Fabrizi underlined that the ANTARES project, which encompasses the two most important sectors, IT and agriculture, was a good example of cooperation between Serbia and the EU.

Construction of BioSense Institute in Novi Sad

Brnabic said that the building of the BioSense Institute in Novi Sad needed to be built as soon as possible, as the institute is to be a European center of scientific excellence, and added that the Government of Serbia would set aside EUR 14 million for it.

She emphasized that it was important for the project documentation to be completed and for the construction to start as soon as possible and at the same time emphasized the importance of connecting agricultural databases so that efficient decisions could be made based on all the information.

– The Government reached the decision on founding a work group, headed by the minister of agriculture, forestry and water management, which will work on this together with the BioSense Institute – Brnabic added.

Farm open to all

Visitors to the first digital farm in Serbia will be able to see for themselves how new technologies make agricultural production more efficient throughout the season, at the Digital Farm Open Days – how they enable the saving of resources (seed, fertilizer, water, human and mechanical labor), how they contribute to the reduction of risks related to the production and weather conditions, and finally, how they help increase the yields. At the digital farm, visitors will be able to see and test various devices, systems and mechanization for precision agriculture and to learn more, present their problems and work together on finding solutions that would improve their production through direct contact with agriculturists who already use the latest technologies.

AgroSense platform

In addition to the physical part of the digital farm, at which various modern devices, tools and mechanization are displayed, there’s also the virtual part – the Serbian digital agricultural platform AgroSense, which enables the monitoring of the crops and the planning of agricultural activities with the help of a mobile phone or a computer, based on the data gathered from satellites, drones, robots, various sensors and weather stations. The basic services of the platform are available for free at, and the platform is regularly expanded with new services, such as, for example, soil analysis, agronomic advice or scheduling surveying by drone. The Open Days will also be an opportunity for agriculturists to get free education for working with AgroSense and to say what their wishes and ideas related to the future functionalities and services are.


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