The supra-regional Operative Group Cereal-Water has been carrying out transfer and innovation actions for three months, exposing the new technologies in monitoring and monitoring of agronomic variables, seeking to achieve greater sustainability and profitability in cereal crops. Under a hydrological basin management approach, projects are being designed in three cereal areas of Andalusia, Extremadura and Castilla-León.
The Córdoba countryside, the Alagón vegas in Cáceres, and the La Armuña waterway in Salamanca, are the areas where the pilot experiences will take place. In all there are environmental and socioeconomic challenges linked to water, soil, landscape, climate, employment and markets, and studies of healthy crop alternatives will be carried out.
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The challenge is to improve the management of cereal cultivation, promoting good practices, innovation and communication with farmers, with the aim of achieving greater production, more quality and profitability, reducing costs and contributing to the best use of the crop. water and the conservation of ecosystems; also promoting the integration of young people and women in cereal agriculture.
Within this framework, the Operative Group has held several Dissemination and Transfer Conferences, to establish a fluid dialogue between science, business, public administrations and the agricultural community. The role of women and young people in agriculture and in rural areas has also been part of the issues addressed.
The first day was held in Coria (Cáceres), on September 6, and addressed issues related to the irrigation of corn mainly. The work table in the province of Salamanca took place on September 18 at the Town Hall of Poveda de las Cintas, with a more focused approach to saving water and energy in the new watering of the area. Finally, the seminar in Cordoba, centered on the countryside and the conservation of its soils, the improvement of the agrarian landscape and the efficient use of water, was held at the headquarters of Asaja Córdoba on September 25.
As a result of these days with farmers, conclusions have been drawn regarding the need to modernize irrigation infrastructures, the integration of aspects such as the landscape or the conservation of the Natura 2000 network at a territorial scale, the serious conservation problems of soils, or economic challenges such as the price of products, or the need for investments in agro-food industries in productive areas.
Of particular importance are the difficulties of young people and women to integrate in the agricultural economies of cereal areas, due, among other reasons, to economic and administrative problems due to the price of products on the one hand and complex regulations and in many cases oversized that hinders the installation of new companies.
Other conclusions based on technological and digital innovation talk about finding solutions aimed at saving energy, recognizing the quality of the product, or the demand for technical advice for the implementation of optimal and profitable crops for the particular conditions in each area.
The Cereal Agua Operating Group is composed of entities from Andalusia, Extremadura and Castilla y León.
Led by Ambienta, SME dedicated to engineering and services in the agricultural and forestry sector, the University of Córdoba and Salamanca are also part of it, the engineering and services companies in rural areas Jogosa and Realima, the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture of the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations (IAS-CSIC), the Institute of Agricultural and Fishing Research and Training of Andalusia (Ifapa) and the Agroalimentary Technological Center “Extremadura” (Ctaex).
On the part of the farmers, the group is represented by the Association of Young Farmers of Córdoba, the Sociedad Cooperativa del Alagón (Copal), the Irrigators Community of the right bank of the Alagón, the Community of Irrigators of La Armuña. Córdoba City Council is also part of the group, and contributes with the experience of the successful project of diversification of the agrarian landscape of the Cordoba countryside.
For its constitution, the group has been granted a grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development within the framework of the National Rural Development Program 2014-2020 of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The creation of Operative Groups at the national level has been possible through the European Association for Innovation in Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (AEI-AGRI), which aims to shorten the distance that exists between the research community and the agri-food sector. forest, which needs to apply scientific knowledge to implement innovative actions