Italy, the importance of innovation for agriculture
Italian government invests 21 million € on digital agriculture and biotechnology
The food farming sector is still one of the engines of Italian economy. This is why it seems essential to make it innovative by investing on it. As a result, as reported by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the Italian government has given out 21 million Euros to improve the performance in this field, devoting the funding to a 3-year research project, managed by CREA, the Specialized Centre of the Ministry for Agricultural Policies.
In particular, the study will focus on digital agriculture and biotechnology, aiming at avoiding transgenic GMOs as well as at improving the genetic features of the Italian productive system.
Maurizio Martina - Minister of Agricultural Policies - proudly stated that it is important to protect Italian richness in biodiversity. For instance, Italian vineyards, olive and peaches trees are famous all over the world for their quality.
The programme of the project involves some activities in the labs with innovative technological tools, such as genome editing and cisgenesis, which are able to infer in the genetic improvement of goods, without altering the core features of the productive system. In fact, cisgenetic products are hardly distinguishable from the traditional ones, since the integrations belong to the same species.
Furthermore, experts highlight among the benefits of these innovative techniques the one of increasing the products resistance to diseases. Among the crops involved, we find aubergines, citrus, apples and poplar.
CREA will also launch a portal, open data, in order to collaborate with research centres, local institutions, universities and private companies active in the technological field.
Lastly, the Ministry of Agricultural Policies envisages a future agricultural scenario characterized by sensors connected to cattle in farms, apps to manage stables and systems to analyse the soil humidity. Fancy hypotheses - not far from becoming reality- are not over and also include irrigation systems managed via smartphone and a digital centre to elaborate information on line based on cloud.