Fede Pérez, CEO Pulverizadores Fede, participated in CEMA Summit 2021 to represent the machinery SMEs from the high-value crops sector.

CEMA, the association that represents the European agricultural machinery industry, held its annual summit, in which Fede Pérez, CEO Pulverizadores Fede, participated on behalf of the European SMEs that manufacture machinery for the high-value crop sector. This great event gathered together institutional representatives such as Frans Timmermans (Executive Vice-President of the European Commission) or Janusz Wojciechowski (EU Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development) and leading figures from agricultural machinery multinational companies like Thierry Krier (CEO Kuhn), Mark von Pentz (President, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division Europe, CIS, Africa, Asia Small Ag & Turf, John Deere), Carlo Lambro (Brand President, New Holland Agriculture), among others.

In his presentation at the session “A new Common Agricultural Policy: driver of Investment, Growth and Sustainability“, Pérez proposed the strategy to meet with the demanding objectives of the Green Deal and highlighted the potential of SMEs to achieve them: “we have the know-how to develop technology that improve the farmers’ work in the fields to grow quality products in a profitable and sustainable way. For that purpose, it is decisive that the EU helps SMEs to develop this technology and that they encourage farmers to adopt these solutions so they can and get profitability of this investment in a short-medium term”.

Due so, to respond to the challenges and demands of the sector, according to the Pulverizadores Fede CEO, it is needed to design tailored solutions to the specific needs of each one of the “two European agricultures”: “on the one hand, the extensive crops agriculture corresponds to large farms and have the presence of large multinational machinery companies. On the other hand, the high value crops (fruits, citrus, vineyard, olive grove, almond …) sector which is mainly composed by small plantations, for example in Spain the 77% of the fields have 20 Ha or less, and it is in this sector where agricultural machinery SMEs are placed”.


Investment in connectivity and technology transfer

“Digitalization, technology transfer and generational renewal are the key for the future of a sustainable and profitable agriculture”, summed up Fede Pérez. In this sense, one of the great challenges is to bring the Internet to the fields: “to transfer these solutions to the fiels in a fully operational way and exploit all its functionalities, connectivity is essential. It is necessary that the EU invests in infrastructures to guarantee coverage in the rural areas and that they help the professionals to get and adopt these solutions”.

This critical point is also related to the need of providing training and education to the agriculture professionals in this new technology topic and to attract new generations of farmers, agronomists, and entrepreneurs who see agriculture as a profitable business model, a sustainable sector, environmentally friendly and well considered by the society. To reflect the aging of the sector, Fede Pérez mentioned Comunidad Valenciana, an important area that produces high-value crops, in which only 8% of farmers are under 40 years old and the 45% are over 65 years old.

To conclude, Fede Pérez shown his confidence in the future of the sector: “I am optimistic, it depends on us, the joint commitment, the union of farmers, SMEs, R&D institutions, universities and the help and investment of the European Commission”.