The National Agricultural Exhibition (FNA), which takes place from 4 to 12 June in Santarem, with the theme “Welcome to the Future”, highlights innovation and technology this year as determinants of the sector’s future.
Presenting this year’s edition of the FNA, which took place today at a press conference, Luis Mira, Director of the National Center for Agricultural Exhibitions and Markets (CNEMA), which is promoting the event, stressed that technology and innovation will be the “determinants” of achieving European goals to ensure food availability and to do so in a way that more sustainable.
“It is a new world, it is artificial intelligence that makes decisions for the sake of man,” said the Secretary-General of Confederação dos Agriculturalores de Portugal (CAP).
For Luis Mira, after the era of mechanization, which currently only allows for the picking of fruit by hand, the work in the coming years will be to publish already existing technologies that will revolutionize agriculture.
He said this year’s edition of the National Agricultural Fair will allow visitors to “connect with some of these facts,” giving an example of augmented reality glasses being used in agricultural fields to check the condition of crops and the presence of potential nutrient, water or disease deficiencies that allow the use of pesticides and fertilizers to be reduced. by 60 to 80%.
This connection, he said, will begin immediately in the huge outdoor plaza of CNEMA, which will be decorated, as in previous editions, according to the theme of the exhibition.
Emphasizing that only 6% of the country’s active population is employed in agriculture, Luis Mira said the proportion of those actually using the new technologies is even lower.
For this reason, he said, there will be a need for policies that allow for infrastructure, such as a 5G network, means for places where such installation is not possible, and issues that he hopes will be taken into account in the specific measures that Portugal can adopt within the scope of the CAP ( CAP).
The highlight of the corridors of CNEMA, which this year is dedicated to the “space of innovation”, he said, will be examples of current offerings in areas such as biotechnology, robotics or artificial intelligence.
According to Luís Mira, the current international situation, with the decline in raw materials affecting many sectors, means that around 25 agricultural machinery exhibitors are absent this year, who usually find FNA a privileged moment to do business.
Seminars and discussions take place every working day, highlighting the Luis Mira International Conference on the Future of Agriculture scheduled for June 8th.
In Nave A, Salon Prazer de Provar once again has the “best of the national”, in products such as wine, olive oils, cheese, sausages, honey, jam and fruit, with tastings, competitions and live cooking activities.
In Nave B, there will be organizations and institutions in the sector, as well as equipment and service companies for agriculture, which will take place in this space the business fair of the Santarém region, promoted by Nersant.
Indigenous breeds will also be present at the event, which highlights horse and equestrian competitions and competitions, which are combined with a range of bull-related activities, such as beginnings, the rural world, with campinos and performances with folklore bands.
The lineup includes performances by David Carrera (June 4), Aba Gold (June 9) Ciro (10 June) and David Antunes (June 11).
Two years after the covid-19 epidemic (with the event suspended in 2020 and a reduced and conditional realization in 2021), FNA is back to normal, with the expectation that it will again receive nearly 200,000 visitors in previous years’ editions of more than 500 exhibitors.
Luis Mera said visitors will find an improved space, with an area of restaurants and bars offering “greater amenities” and the availability of free transportation connecting the CP station and city to CNEMA.
This connection will be ensured by electric buses, highlighting Luis Mira’s “environmental commitment” for the event, with only recyclable cups being used and eclectic waste collection points, in addition to the commitment made over the past year to cover the car park with panels. To produce photovoltaic energy.