New technology and digital farming solutions are disrupting farming communities and how farming happens. It is essential that farmers are involved in these solutions. The live webcast session “Fostering agricultural innovation for the smart farmer” at Food Tech Matters virtual event on October 14, 2020, will look at how we can bridge the gap between innovation and market acceptance and improve the collaboration between industry and farmer, particularly in light of the challenges many farmers now face as a result of Covid-19. What do progressive farmers need from the technology and investors? How can digitalisation support farmers in their daily work, enhance productivity, reduce workload and improve their profitability? How can technology be implemented alongside other pieces of technology already on the farm?
One of the members of the panel will be Dirk Vandenhirtz, Founder and CEO crop.zone. They are focused on agricultural innovation and developing innovative technologies and farming practices that help farmers increase efficiency and reduce the amount of natural resources— water, land, and energy — necessary to meet the world’s food, fuel, and fibre needs.
We grabbed a few minutes of Dirks time to ask him some quick takeaways and to see why it’s so important to bring people together at events like Food Tech Matters.
What initially sparked your interest in food tech / was there a Eureka moment?
Growing my first veggies when I was in school sparked my first interest.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started out in this sector?
Corporate does not go together with innovation.
What impact is the Covid-19 pandemic having on the foodtech sector and where is innovation most needed right now?
Growing more at home and learn how to preserve food are where more focus is needed.
Have you seen areas where Covid-19 has positively impacted innovation/tech adoption?
More online meetings, less travel is a definite positive impact.
How important is it for events like Food Tech Matters to bring the agri-foodtech community together to explore the big questions around food and sustainability?
Bringing together people is always good.