The discussion on the modernisation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is in full progress and one element of it is how the CAP will stimulate and benefit from ongoing digitisation of the agricultural sector while reducing the administrative burden and improving the sustainability and competitiveness of the sector. CAP modernisation also offers potential for data use and reuse and thus improves accessibility of CAP data for monitoring the societal benefits of agriculture towards climate, environment and rural development. The ongoing operationalisation of the Copernicus satellite programme and the use of Earth Observation data for many aspects in agriculture is a very prominent innovation with unprecedented impact on the monitoring of agricultural land. In addition, the market availability of new tools and technologies and the increased interoperability between different ‘sub’ systems, like open data, farm management and information systems, telemetry on farm machinery and local sensors provide additional incentives to modernise governance of the CAP.
On June 17-19, the kick off meeting of NIVA (New IACS Vision In Action) project, funded by the Horizon 2020 (H2020) – a framework program of the European Union for research and development for the period 2014-2020 - through the call “RUR-2018-14: Digital solutions and e-tools to modernize the CAP”, and coordinated by University of Wageningen from Netherlands, took place in The Hague (Netherlands) with the presence of all the partners and also with members of several directorates general of the European Commission (DG AGRI, DG CNECT, DG DIGIT, DG CLIMA and JRC).
The NIVA project has officially started on June 1 and will last 36 months with the budget of 10 million euro. It is formed by a consortium of 9 Member States, represented by the Paying Agency and Ministries: Lithuania, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Greece and Estonia. In addition to the administrations, 16 other partners (private companies, research institutes) participate.
The goal of NIVA project is on the one hand the modernization of the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) – the instrument for CAP governance – through the efficient usage of newly available digital technologies and moving from control to prevention and monitoring, as well as promoting the exchange of information between the European Commission, the Member States and other actors involved. During the project duration reliable methodologies and harmonized data sets for monitoring agricultural performance will be created and will be available as open source tools even beyond the consortium members in order to reduce the administrative burden for farmers, paying agencies and other stakeholders.
During the NIVA project duration, 12 months will be devoted to the realization of pilots (demonstrated in three cycles: national, multi-national and pan-European) in a real environment. Each of the 9 Member States lead one of 9 uses cases with the involvement of other partners, which altogether constitute a complete new IACS vision that address the new challenges:
It is expected that the results of NIVA project will have a strong impact on the design of the simpler, more transparent and effective future CAP.