The main focus of the work is how blockchain and other groundbreaking technologies will play an important role in the Italian digital transformation of agriculture, namely agriculture 4.0.
The Smart Agrifood Observatory has recently surveyed 220 solutions offered in Italy by more than 70 companies, finding that about 80% is applicable in the cultivation phase, while 12% is also applicable in the planning phase. In addition, 73% of the solutions offered in Italy exploit data and analytics, 57% processing software systems and user interface, while 41 percent are the Internet of Things (IoT).
Using innovative distributed ledger technologies including blockchain in the Agrifood sector is fundamental for Italy. This will help to improve the production, processing and distribution phases and achieve an aggregate turnover of around 300 billion euros (equal to 11.3 percent of GDP and 9 percent of exports) and damage work for over 3.2 million people (more than 13% of the total).
The relevance of this sector is not limited to economic data alone: in fact, it can be argued that Italian food excellences constitute one of the fundamental factors of Italian Style: 1.3 million businesses, with less than 2.5 employees on average and a turnover of € 230,000 / year.
All this in the knowledge that the world will be increasingly hungry - over the course of 30 years the food needs of the world population will grow by 60 percent - and digital innovation will contribute substantially to feeding it, with its pervasiveness at all levels.
This is stated in the Coltiva data report. The digital transformation of the Agrifood industry of the Smart Agrifood Observatory, explains how in Italy Agriculture 4.0 has a market of around 100 million euros, 2.5 percent of the global one. The spread of these technological solutions is still limited and today less than 1% of the total cultivated area is managed with these digital systems, but the trend is of strong growth.
Digital innovation therefore allows food companies - regardless of size, supply chain and product - to improve and innovate their quality proposition in different directions, in particular on the quality of origin (51% of analyzed cases) and food safety (46 percent).
Agriculture 4.0 is the set of interconnected technological tools to make the food industry increasingly digital and therefore: safe, sustainable, productive, optimizing time, resources and working conditions along the entire supply chain. In practice it is a question of applying to the agricultural work solutions such as: drones, sensors, blockchain, big data, processing software, internet of things.
Agriculture 4.0 is therefore applicable at all stages of production and will increasingly have a decisive role for the Made in Italy, the fight against counterfeiting and the management of the consequences of climate change.
There is always space in a developing sector for those who want and know how to do new things. Especially when the approach is innovative. Compared to the past, when the agricultural world was considered to be de-qualifying, today there is an unprecedented repositioning of the Agrifood sector, including internationally.
This obviously generates appeal in the new generations. The key concept is therefore: quality of the products and therefore of the processes. Furthermore, when it comes to high quality, Italy is in the forefront with PGI and DOP products, and above all an ability to work on scale sizes that are difficult to find abroad.