The German agricultural and food industry is to leverage the potential of artificial intelligence (AI). The Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi) is supporting the Agri-Gaia project with 11.75 million euros. Agri-Gaia is to become an AI ecosystem around the farm based on the European cloud project Gaia X.
With AI, for example, soil and plants can be managed more precisely. The BMWi wants to increase efficiency, protect the environment and improve the competitiveness of German agricultural technology manufacturers. Agri-Gaia is managed by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Agri-Gaia strives for manufacturer-independent cooperation between farmers, machine manufacturers and service providers, including the food industry.
Data sovereignty for agricultural economists
This includes the “secure and trustworthy sharing of data”. Farmers should benefit directly from this, for example by being able to commercialize their own data without losing control over it. There are warnings about the “transparent farmer” and the increasing power of the agricultural corporations. The project partners include the Agrotech Valley Forum, Bosch, Claas, the university and the University of Osnabrück, the Bernard Krone machine factory and Wernsing Feinkost.
According to the BMWi, the Gaia-X-Cloud, which is being promoted in parallel, “ideally meets the requirements of the industry” for all aspects of decentralized data services. Nine further research projects and over 20 companies therefore want to build on the future open infrastructure. Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) hopes for of Agri-Gaia now “important starting points for the creation of a competitive, sovereign data economy in the agricultural sector”. In 2019, the Bundestag called for a data hub for agricultural businesses in the form of a state-initiated “master platform”.