Digitization and innovation to ensure the future of the field. And get it through a open and participatory digital community that allows the generation and transfer of knowledge. This is the goal of Land Platform portal developed by the Cajamar Group to promote an «agro» sector more competitive, profitable, sustainable and attractive for the new generations with the participation of all the agents of the food chain.
Presented last Tuesday at an online event where they participated Eduardo Baamonde, President of Cajamar; Roberto Garcia, Director of Agrifood Innovation of the entity; Alejandro Blaas, director of Plataforma Tierra; and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), Luis Planas, the platform already adds more than 6,500 registered users in a few hours to a portal that wants to become the support tool reference for farmers and entrepreneurs of the XXI century.
This was revealed by Eduardo Baamonde in his speech where he recalled the role of the entity for more than 50 years supporting professionals in the agriculture, livestock and rural population sectors in general, betting on the transfer of knowledge to allow «develop its full potential through initiatives such as the experimentation centers of El Ejido (Almería) and Paiporta (Valencia) or the publication of numerous specialized studies and publications ».
A knowledge transfer that in the Cajamar Group “It has not changed despite the fact that the sector has evolved, grown and internationalized”, he pointed out. Due to this transformation, Eduardo Baamonde highlighted that the development of Plataforma Tierra is more necessary than ever to “continue with our spirit of accompanying the ‘agro’ sector” in a time marked by the digitization and new technologies.
Plataforma Tierra is an open and participatory digital community, made up of professionals, farmers and ranchers, cooperatives and food industries, traders and distribution companies, auxiliary industry, study, research and innovation centers, and technology developers who work collaboratively to share knowledge and develop new tools that help make decisions for the common good.
«The agri-food sector faces the challenge of produce more with fewer resources to meet growing demand of the population, doing it in a sustainable way and with the capacity to generate profitability for all links in the chain and thus guarantee the generational relief“Explained the president of Cajamar, who also considered that to achieve this” it is essential to have the research and knowledge of all “and” share it in a collaborative environment.
Precisely to achieve this environment, Grupo Cajamar has created this platform that provides valuable information and solutions that, in the opinion of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, “It will help to strengthen relationships between all agents through digital technologies”.
Along these lines, the minister continued, Plataforma Tierra is in line with the objectives set by his ministry in the digitization strategy because it will facilitate “creating a community and a network of experiences, information exchange and communication, as well as new technologies that, in a globalized world, improve competitiveness and sustainability of the sector and the environment ». For this reason and in line with the objectives of the MAPA, the platform will enable «reduce the digital divide, encourage the use of data to generate value and make decisions and drive business development and new business models.
Easy access to knowledge
In this way, Plataforma Tierra is a space that facilitates knowledge among its users quickly and intuitively, helping professionals from the entire chain to build a competitive, profitable, sustainable and attractive sector for new generations. In this first phase, the portal pprovides information on the markets of the different agri-food products, sectoral, territorial and cross-sectional studies and analyzes, a technological observatory with the main innovations and a Training area and professionalization with a wide catalog of events, webinars Y courses. Something that will be expanded in the coming months with a set of tools and applications.
However, as the director of Agrifood Innovation of Cajamar, Roberto García, pointed out, “we do not have to be the only ones who give answers to the questions. As well we need the rest of the participantsSince we believe that the best person who can advise a farmer is someone who has already used a technology, “he argued. And he had an impact: «The objective is to share knowledge and experiences. That is our philosophy. We are a credit union and we want to join forces».
From their point of view, the platform will provide professionals more information for face the great challenges: take care of the planet, minimize damage when producing, be very efficient, become a source of CO2 sink and use renewable energy sources. “And to achieve this knowledge and cooperation are essential and the reasons why we have created the platform,” he insisted.
Alejandro Blaas, director of Plataforma Tierra, explained that the portal will evolve according to the needs of the users. And he encouraged all agents to send them all the suggestions they consider appropriate “because we have a great spirit of work and collaboration (…) We are open to all initiatives.” He also recalled that in order to facilitate the creation of new technological solutions «we are preparing our portal for developerss, an area in which we will facilitate that entrepreneurs can develop their tools using our technology. ‘
In conclusion, Eduardo Baamonde, president of Cajamar, encouraged the use of this platform and recalled that “digitization is a means that allows, among other aspects, the dissemination of knowledge (…) But the key is in people and for them we have created an environment that allows feedback on knowledge and make a more competitive, efficient, profitable and sustainable sector».
More than half a century with farmers
Since its foundation in 1963, Cajamar has stood alongside the professionals of the agrarian sector and the rural world. As the president of the entity recalled in the presentation of the conference «in our beginnings and as Caja Rural our objective was to provide financial services to a sector of the population, but we saw and understood that this was not enough, therefore that we bet from the beginning on the knowledge transfer so that the agri-food world could develop its full potential».
Along these lines, Eduardo Baamonde recalled the creation in 1975 of the experimentation center in El Ejido (Almería), better known as «Las Palmerillas» with the objective of test and train technicians and farmers on new technologies and that “today it is a national and international reference in the fruit and vegetable sector.”
Following this same line of commitment to innovation, recalled the director of Agrifood Innovation Cajamar, which the entity inaugurated in November 1994 the Cajamar Experience Center in order to adapt the technological developments recent trends to the reality of the field to promote the generation of value, increasing productivity through sustainable practices and efficient use of available resources.
The launch of Plataforma Tierra supposes, in the words of Roberto García himself, «create what we call ‘Las Palmerillas of the XXI century’ with a global and open character that allows improving solutions for farmers and food companies thanks to the generation of a community in which, in addition to these, we also participate technology centers, universities, auxiliary companies and new entrepreneurss, that is, all agents that make up the food chain.
Ground Platform Sections (I Phase)
Alejandro Blaas, director of Plataforma Tierra, was in charge of explaining the operation of the portal and available sections in this first phase. Thus, he indicated that the platform will have public content and a section for registered users with content personalized and accessible via web on mobile and browser.
The platform cIt has more than 25 professionals who supervise it, to whom a network of collaborators adds. The available sections are:
– Markets: The user has access to information related to the markets of the different agri-food products, by sectors and subsectors, offering all variables of interest with data on prices, production, stocks, exports, behavior of clients and competitors, …
– Publications: The platform brings together the most important private publishing fund in Spain made up of the Cajamar Publications. There, users will have access to sector studies and analysis, territorial and transversal that will allow to continue deepening in the agri-food knowledge.
– Innovation: The platform will have a technological observatory that will collect the main innovations of the sector in each one of the phases of the chain. This space, in addition to news, it will also have articles of authors whose professional profile will be visible. The goal is the diffusion and transfer of knowledge from the experimental centers of the Cajamar Foundation dedicated to intensive agriculture and fruit growing.
– Tools: This section will collect a set of applications for optimal decision making that drives the profitability and sustainability of its activities. Among the first tools, which will begin to be operational from March as it is still in the testing phase, there will be a specific Irrigation and Fertilization Plans to help calculate irrigation dynamically and effectively, including alerts and notifications. The catalog will be expanded with a Integrated Pest Control, a soil management assistant, a calculator for the Carbon footprint of the farm and a Comprehensive Field Notebook.
– Training: It will be one of the pillars of the platform by facilitating the professionalization of sector agents. It already has a wide catalog of events, webinars and courses to bring users closer to the new technologies, the processes, as well as the technical and business knowledge necessary for a continuous improvement.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.