Giovanni Passuello is a Plant Sciences graduate from Wageningen University and Research (WUR) who recently completed an internship with one of the biggest digital providers for farmers. As part of Cycle to Farms, we also want to encourage more young people to share their stories about sustainable agriculture, so we asked Giovanni to share some of his reflections.
What does it takes to create an App for Regenerative Agriculture?
After carrying out an internship in a company developing a smart farming app, I started questioning myself on how I would have devolved the platform. I decided to focus on how it could be shaped to support an active adoption of regenerative agriculture principles and practices. I looked into many options on the market but none had all the features that I would have expected. So, I sat down, reflected and wrote some guidelines I believe should be considered when creating a digital platform for regenerative agriculture.
2. Nutrient Fluxes Tracker: to adjust the cropping calendar in order to take advantage of crop traits and residual fertility, minimising nutrient losses and efficiently use livestock waste;
3. Exchange farm by-products: to connect farmers in the same landscape but different sectors, aiming at closing the nutrient cycles at landscape level;
4. Direct market channels: to bring together demand and supply of diversified management and niche farm products;
5. Soil degradation prevention: soil compaction risk and erosion risk rating field map for timely field interventions.
I tried to design these features using a holistic approach. To target the stakeholders already involved in regenerative agriculture would be not enough. Rather, the idea behind these features is to empower the actors, giving them data upon which they can decide to adopt the regenerative agricultural practices that are more suitable for their context.
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Aisha & Lukas