New technologies change work in the agricultural supply chain

From the 'connected support' specialist to the 'technical communicator'. Technological vanguards are creating new specialised professional roles that are increasingly in demand among companies in the sector. An overview of the development of skills at EIMA, the international exhibition of agricultural machinery, currently taking place in the halls of BolognaFiere

Innovative technologies require the development of new skills and a new way of doing agriculture throughout the supply chain, from the fields to product processing. A change that involves farmers but also manufacturers of agricultural machinery, which are often jewels of innovation but almost never used to their full potential. "This is why professional specialisations are essential," explains Giovanni Lorenzi, Harvesting customer support specialist at John Deere, the US group that is one of the world's largest tractor manufacturers. The point on how technologies are changing the world of work in the agricultural supply chain was made today at EIMA, the international exhibition of agricultural machinery, underway at BolognaFiere, during a meeting promoted by Trattori magazine, entitled "New skills take to the field". Today more than 90% of machines are connected to remote maintenance and support systems. A development that requires new highly specialised tasks. These range from connected support specialists to integrated solutions consultants. And finally the technical communicator, who has direct access to the entire flow of information coming from the production process. In all cases, these are technicians capable of operating a machine at 100% of its functions. In Italy there are already structures in place to support the growth of the new skills required by companies. Such as the Riccagioia 5.0 Foundation in Torrazza Coste, in the province of Pavia, a national reference point for innovation in the agricultural ecosystem, which is responsible for vocational training and school/work internship projects in collaboration with agricultural schools. However, the road ahead is still an “obstacle course”. Indeed, as the meeting showed, agricultural entrepreneurs often do not perceive technological innovation as a facilitator of production. And even if things are progressively changing, this conviction is found above all among small and medium-sized enterprises, which resort to technology only on the basis of perceived advantages. A different attitude is found among young farmers, who are more open to new technologies. The innovation process is in any case irreversible. “Today - explains Angelica Aldrovandi, a member of the Coldiretti Giovane Impresa Committee of Modena - the market demands high quality and sustainable products, a demand that requires investments in new technologies to keep the entire production cycle under control.”

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