Students and young farmers across Europe and Africa are invited once again to enter a major competition about how to use satellite technology in agriculture to improve efficiency and to reduce environmental impact.
The €13,000 ‘Farming by Satellite Prize’ is an initiative of the European GNSS Agency and the European Environment Agency. It is sponsored by CLAAS, a leading manufacturer of agricultural engineering equipment, and crop protection experts Bayer CropScience. The competition ran for the first time in 2012 and again in 2014, attracting interest from 29 countries last time around. It includes a special prize for submissions that address the needs of farmers and growers in Africa.
The aim of the competition is to promote the use of satellites in innovative agricultural practices that will help reduce environmental impacts and increase benefits to end users. Individuals or teams from universities or commercial organisations can submit new ideas and technological solutions, or report case studies of trials, particularly those relying upon European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), the forthcoming GALILEO system and COPERNICUS services (the European Earth Observation Programme).
Previous finalists have included young people from the Czech Republic, Germany, Kenya, Romania, Rwanda, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom, with topics ranging from geo-referenced online data platforms, swarm technologies, precision seed planting robots, selective olive harvesting and using drones for early famine warning systems and decision support tools in Africa.
Gian-Gherardo Calini, Head of Market Development at the European GNSS Agency says: “We want young people to actively think about imaginative solutions that employ ‘free’ satellite technologies that can help all the world’s farmers.”
Full details on the competition are available at www.farmingbysatellite.eu.