Young farmers keep rural areas alive

06.12.2023 17:37

Young farmers keep rural areas alive

A young woman using a digital tablet while working at a cow farm

The 9th EPP European Congress of Young Farmers took place today under the headline "Young farmers: Guardians of tradition and drivers of innovation". With over 300 young farmers on the spot in the European Parliament, the Congress served as the stage for a series of innovative and resilient projects submitted by 13 European young farmers from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

"Young farmers play a crucial role in maintaining traditions and keeping our rural areas alive in the face of growing environmental and economic challenges. As the EPP Group, we place young farmers at the heart of our policies. We need to step up efforts to make the generational renewal in farming successful by giving young farmers perspective and a future in this important profession", underline the organisers of the EPP Congress of Young Farmers, MEP Nuno Melo, Herbert Dorfmann, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez and Michaela Šojdrová. The Congress was organised together with the Confederation of Portuguese Farmers (CAP) and the Spanish Young Farmers' Association (ASAJA).

The winners of this year's EPP Young Farmers Awards come from the Czech Republic, Greece and Belgium.  

  • Best Digital Project: Matěj Sklenář partnered with robotics and software developer Vratislav Beneš to create FRAVEBOT, a tomato disease and pest monitoring robot that moves autonomously around the greenhouse. Using AI, the robot monitors plant health and fruit ripeness. By detecting diseases and pests early, farmers can take timely action to combat the problems, thus heavily reducing the need for pesticides, as well as increasing yields while using the same amount of water and nutrients.
  • Most Resilient Project: Koutsouradi Argyro combined traditional methods with modern technology to organically produce aromatic plants and herbs on the Greek island of Chios. Sourcing seeds only from certified organic seedbeds and using only certified organic practices, combined with the island's unique climate, soil and clean environment, guarantees the high quality and abundant fragrance of the herbs and essential oils produced.
  • Best Project for Improving Rural Areas: François Lejeune developed a network of bakeries, biscuit factories, cooking schools, retail stores, pizzerias and pasta production workshops which would work with organic flours, allowing them to source their products very locally.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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