Last 23-24 september, it was the Andalusia Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development who welcomed project partners to their study visit.

The first day session took place in the frame of the Andalusia Sabor international fine food exhibition fair: a professional and monographic meeting that brings together Andalusia's food supply to consolidate its presence in the national and international markets.

So during the morning, partners could visit the fair as the meeting took place during the afternoon.

Mr. Vicente Pérez General Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Food launched the session and welcomed participants to Andalusia, enhancing the innovation potential of the andalusian agrifood sector. He was followed by Mrs. Esperanza Perea, REGIONS 4FOOD project coordinator, who greeted partners and presented the two-days sessions and the 5 good practices to be showcased.

3 speakers from the Andalusia Regional Ministry showcased 3 initiatives directly linked to public initiatives that promote the digitization of the agrifood value chain from a public policy perspective:

Mrs. Judit Anda presented the Andalusia Agrotech Digital Innovation Hub: an ecosystem to enhance the digital transformation of the agrifood sector in Andalusia. As an example of output from this hub, Mr Daniel Villalba, from the Regional Ministry of Economy, Knowledge, Enterprises and University explained the FIWARE zone: a joint initiative from that regional ministry and Telefónica to support and promote intelligent solutions in different sectors of the economy and development such as SmartCities, Industry 4.0. or Smartagrifood.

Mrs. Pilar Garrido presented the Geoportal: the online access point that the Statistical and Cartographic System of the community makes available to all those who want to search, locate, view, download or request some type of geographic information of the territory. The Geoportal promotes management work models changes such as digital transformation or improved coordination

Mr. Ricardo Alarcon presented the RAIF, the Andalusia phytosanitary alert and Information Network that offers updated information on the phytosanitary status of the main crops in Andalusia, with all the information available on the Regional Ministry's  website.

Finally, professor Javier Mesas from university of Cordoba, presented the Master in digital transformation in the agrifood sector. The master counts a partnership made of the University of Cordoba and Malaga together with several leading companies both in the digital field and in the agrifood sector, and is linked to the Andalusia Agrotech DIH.

It was a very fruitful and interested afternoon, with discussions and debates around the future of digitization of the agrifood sector, the challenges farmers face to embrace innovation in a sometimes conservative environment. We wrap up and went for dinner in a local typical restaurant near the Cathedral of Sevilla, where partners and stakeholders discussed in a more relaxed ambience. 

The 2nd day we headed Carmona, a town around 50km from Seville where we were welcomed by its Major Mr. Juan Ávila and Local Action Group manager, Mr. Juan José Saucedo. We devoted the morning to learn about the Operational Group Smart AG Services that offers digital solutions to local farmers. In this OG, its different partners play a key role: the Universities of Cordoba and Seville offer their skills to test new solutions they propose to farmers from Cooperative San Sebastian, another partner together with the Young Farmers Association (ASAJA). Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA) who offers technical support, is a partner. We visited an experimental field in Lora del Rio where participants leart more about the digital solutions in terms of irrigation tested directly with citric trees.

Enjoying the Sevillian landscape, we went back to Seville, to discover the other master included as a good practice: the Digital Agriculture and Agrifood Innovation master offered by University of Seville: after a contextual explantation, we went to a demo farm where different solutions are tested and where actual master’s students showed us devices they use and test. This master intends to fill in the gap between university careers and agricultural companies providing students with a holistic approach to digital farming. 

Finally, we headed the Cartuja Science and Technology Park where the Regional Ministry of Economy, Knowledge, Enterprises and University holds another initiative linked to promoting digital solutions to the agrifood sector: Andalusia Open Future initiative: an entrepreneurship program, promoted by Junta de Andalucía and Vodafone, to promote business projects in technology sector. Mr. Antonio Cabello, Head of Service of Digital Economy and Innovation and Mr. Juan Jesús Velasco, manager of El Cubo space: an acceleration program for technology-based startups.