05. January 2018
Extensive broadband supply in rural areas is currently the biggest challenge
DBV President Joachim Rukwied about the meaning of digitalization for farmers
The German Farmer’s Association is the leading association for the German farming and forestry industries and an ideal supporter of the Farm&Food 4.0 conference. We spoke to their President, Joachim Rukwied in the run-up to the event.
Farm & Food: Digitalization offers farmers a lot of opportunities. What, in your opinion, needs to happen for farmers to also profit from them?
Joachim Rukwied: First of all, we need extensive broadband supply in rural areas so that this technology can be used. Secondly, it is important to inform farmers about the opportunities digitalization offers and to show them how crop protection can be improved through digitalization, reducing fertilization, better combat weeds mechanically and so on. There are many things that we can use.
Which specific projects has the German Farmer’s Association initiated to support farmers in this way?
We asked our farmers what their needs are and where they see opportunities. We worked together with DIHK, craftsmen and the German district authorities to initiate the digital initiative “Rural Economy” (German: “Landwirtschaft”). We’re taking a very versatile approach.
Why is Farm & Food 4.0 so important and what do you expect from your participation?
This conference lays the cornerstones, uncovers opportunities and brings economy and farming together. It offers a platform for us to discuss what is important in the industry and where we need to set our focus. This helps us to set things in motion, step by step.
What is the biggest challenge that companies have to confront considering the increase in digitalization?
Two points: Data safety – it belongs to the farmer, and broadband coverage in rural areas.