An increased use of satellite technology is set to improve on-the-spot-checks and cut administrative costs of the Common Agricultural Policy.
So says Agriculture and rural development commissioner Phil Hogan, who visited the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre at Ispra in Italy.
It is the third biggest commission site after Brussels and Luxembourg, and has 138 buildings with about 1,850 staff.
Mr Hogan said he was confident increased use of satellite technology can help member states to significantly boost the efficiency of on-the-spot checks necessary for CAP payments.
He described the facility at Ispra as having been firmly established “as one of Europe’s leading research campuses”.
“I had the opportunity to see the great work being done by the Joint Research Centre in terms of developing satellite technology and in using given data in the most efficient way.
"I am certain that there is great potential for further developments in both the technology and, equally importantly, the access to that technology.
“We already have satellite technology and the benefits are obvious. Greater use of it will reduce the dependence on labour and time-intensive on-the-spot checks.
“The effect of the increased use of satellite technology is that, besides better farm efficiency, there is potential for a significant reduction of on-farm inspections, which will benefit farmers as well as regional and national authorities.
“The greater investment in and use of this technology is a win-win situation for all stakeholders and, based on what I saw in Ispra, I believe that we can make significant progress in the next three years.
"I am committed to ensuring my services work closely with colleagues in the Joint Research Centre for the benefit of all involved in this sector, which is of critical importance for economic growth in Europe,” he said.
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