Italy has given the green light for a major center for the development of green technologies aimed at the agricultural sector. The project, unimaginatively dubbed ‘Agri hub 5.0′, will be set up in an agricultural area near Pavia on the initiative of the Lombardy region.
The region is allocating the Riccagioia estate for this objective. The management of this is entrusted to a group of companies, which include Almaviva (ICT company), Bayer Crop Science, GeoSmartCampus (an agricultural incubator), Esri Italia (a software company) and Olivetti.
The University of Milan is also taking part, through its Agricultural and Food Sciences Faculty and Environmental Science Faculty, as is the Gallini agricultural engineering institute.
The latest agricultural innovations will be developed and tested in the ‘agrihub’.
The aim is to develop and test the latest agricultural innovations. These include sensors for local irrigation, agricultural drones, digitalization of wine cellars and more sustainable chemical products. Each of the partner companies will come up with innovations in their respective fields. The estate will also serve as a training center for innovation.
Well-known agricultural area
The Riccagioia complex in Torrazza Coste covers 54 hectares of land and boasts 20 thousand square meters of buildings. Torrazza Coste is a municipality of 1,500 inhabitants in an agricultural area known for its viticulture (Oltrepò Pavese). Wheat, corn and sugar beets are also grown there. Riccagioia, which translates as “Rich Joy,” is already being referred to as the agricultural Silicon Valley of Italy.
Italy is one of the most important agricultural countries in the European Union. The country generates almost one-fifth of the total added value of European agriculture. Eurostat estimates the added value of Italian agriculture this year at 32.2 billion euros. That is more than France, Spain and Germany. Italy manages this with relatively few European subsidies. Among the major agricultural producers in the European Union, Italy has the lowest ratio of subsidies in terms of production and added value.
Also read about how the European Union is laying the groundwork for sustainable agriculture.