On June 5, 2019, we participated to LFDay. Here is the report of our impressions.

An initiative like no other

La Ferme Digitale (The Digital Farm) could be in some ways  compared with transformation initiatives such as the Factory of the Future or Industry 4.0. Nevertheless, it has two very specific characteristics:

The first is that it was founded by visionary entrepreneurs. They created this association without anyone asking them. Apart from any institutional or state initiative, it is the expression of the need to federate actors of a sector. Paolin Pascot founder of the marketplace agriconomie.com and Florian Breton founder of miimosa.com the site of crowdfunding for farmers are at the origin of this initiative.

The second concerns values. In the association founding objectives are clearly stated commitment to ecology, for society and for farmers.

The ambition is huge and technology is only a tool

It is not just about technology or digital: it is about fighting for agriculture and agronomy of tomorrow, to sustain French agriculture. It is necessary to succeed with the ecological and economic transformations as well as that of the consumption schemes.

These issues were palpable in the corridors of the exhibition with the hundred AgriTech startups who exhibited their products and ideas. A hundred actors is both a lot and not enough. With $ 13 billion invested worldwide in the last 5 years in AgriTech, including $ 5 billion in 2018 alone (source Digital Food Lab), this is a real acceleration, even if, unsurprisingly, China and the United States are on the podium and Europe is lagging behind with only 8% of these investments.

Farmers must be actors

One of the main messages was that farmers must take their communication in hand so that “others do not speak for us”. In my opinion, I prefer the idea of a revolution going on, and that farmers have to be part of it.

A movement is growing. Farmers must seize it at risk of being once again subject to forces that constrain them.

Tech for good ?

We still keep in mind the words of Cédric Villani during the closing speech “The dream is of course the reconciliation of humanity with agriculture and the environment“. Here is an idea that gives matter for thought and with which I want to close this article.