Thanks to the incentives, exponential growth towards agriculture 4.0
Agriculture 4.0 in Italy has grown and continues to grow constantly, despite the Covid-19 crisis and the international geo-political scenario. According to a survey carried out by the Smart Agrifood Observatory of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano and by Rise Laboratory (Research & Innovation for Smart Enterprises) of the University of Brescia, the sales turnover of this market rose sharply from 540 million Euros in the first semester of 2020 to 1.3 billion at the end of 2020, reaching 1.6 billion in 2021.
These remarkable results were presented during the conference titled “Smart agrifood: let’s pick the fruits of digital innovation!”.
There are several technologies on which investments in agriculture 4.0 are primarily focused, first and foremost natively connected agricultural machinery and equipment, which have registered a significant rise in expenditure. According to the Observatory, this expenditure accounts for 47% of the market and is increasing by + 17%.
The boost is provided by incentives, to the advantage of mechanized equipment and substantial increases in the sale of tractors, for example, followed by monitoring and control systems for after-sale applicatin on agricultural vehicles and equipment.
In fact, 2021 represented a year of growth for the registrations of tractors and agricultural vehicles (+ 36% compared to 2020, according to the calculations of FederUnacoma , with a sales turnover for the Italian market of approximately 14 billion euros).
Indeed, with market growth being driven by incentives, especially the subsidies of Rural Development Programs and the Transition Plan 4.0, it is not surprising that three quarters of farms have used at least one Agriculture 4.0 incentive.
Of these, 84% argue that incentives have had a decisive impact on investment choices, allowing them to anticipate them (for 44% of companies), to invest in more than one solution (20%) or in a more expensive solution (20 %).
The key to their success was that of linking the tax credit to mechanization and the implementation of innovative solutions. Initially, operators adopted these solutions to obtain the incentives. Subsequently, they realized the benefits of their investment and use rates have increased constantly.
This has extended the area being farmed with Agriculture 4.0 equipment, which reached 6% of the total in 2021, double the previous year. Also according to the Observatory, in 2021 60% of Italian farmers used at least one Agriculture 4.0 solution, + 4% compared to 2020, and over four out of ten use at least two, in particular management software and monitoring and control systems for machinery.
The researchers also report a growing interest in data analysis and decision support systems, confirmed by 26% of farmers who foresee investments in this area of agriculture 4.0 for the near future.
A trend for a new concept of farming, which seems to be unarrest able.