DEMETER: Empowering farmers through technology

Innovation and digitalization in the agricultural sector are crucial to help farmers coping with pressing global challenges.

That is why, agricultural technology experts, farmers and farmers organisations are pooling their talents, expertise, and resources in a ground-breaking and results-driven project, called DEMETER. The project aims to digitally transform the agri-food sector, with global scalability and replicability potential.

The €17 million project, funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 involves 25 deployment sites, 6,000 farmers and over 38,000 devices and sensors being deployed, spanning 318,000 hectares in 18 countries. It embraces in one consortium 60 partners and together, they will run 20 different pilot programmes across five agricultural sectors.

WFO is a core partner of the consortium with the objective of spreading DEMETER results among the global farmers’ community, enabling the replicability, and facilitating the adoption of the proposed technologies.

DEMETER will showcase how technologies such as field and plant sensors, weather stations, monitoring and control devices can help support sustainable and resilient food systems. Through its multi-actor approach, bringing together scientific knowledge and practical experience from living and working on the land, the project is also set to improve farmers wellbeing and generally support farmers in the adoption of precision farming technologies.

The project includes different production sectors (including dairy, meat, vegetables, fruit, and arable crops), and systems (conventional and organic), and various farm sizes and types, optimising the data analysis obtained across multiple farms. Through its pilot programmes, DEMETER will monitor both plant and animal products during their life cycle from farm to fork, increasing on-farm sustainability.

Launched in September 2019 and coordinated by the Waterford Institute of Technology, the project will be brought to a conclusion by February 2023.

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Demeter is a Horizon 2020 project (857202) supported by the European Union.