Innovation and competitiveness in the Basque agricultural and livestock sector with the implementation of agritec

26 October 2023


  • More than 80 representatives of the first sector have shared their experiences when implementing innovative technologies at the ‘Agritech experience dissemination day’ at the NEIKER headquarters in Alava.
  • Within the framework of the Agritech strategy, the Basque Country is developing lines of work dedicated to promoting innovation, training, entrepreneurship and attracting investment in the sector to boost competitiveness and efficiency.

The implementation of high technology and the digitalisation of agricultural, livestock and forestry processes has triggered a real transformation in traditional working methods. This development has given rise to the concept of agritech, which encompasses the implementation of the latest technologies in agriculture, livestock farming and forestry to offer intelligent, sustainable and effective solutions.

Within the framework of the agritech strategy, the Basque Country is developing lines of work dedicated to promoting innovation, training, knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship and attracting investment in the sector to boost competitiveness and efficiency. Another highlight of this roadmap is the attraction of foreign investment with the aim of boosting production and technology in the primary sector. Likewise, the aim is to support start-ups in their initial stages to facilitate their presence in the Basque Country.

In this context of development and implementation of agritech, the ‘Agritech experience dissemination day’ took place this morning at the headquarters of NEIKER technology centre in Arkaute (Álava). The development of the Agritech Strategy led by the Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government through NEIKER, has given rise to the holding of this conference together with the agri-livestock organisations GARLAN and AVANZABIO and the engineering and consultancy companies ENKOA and BATURA Mobile.

During the event, which was attended by more than 80 representatives of companies from the first sector, experiences of the implementation of new technologies that contribute to advanced and competitive management of agricultural and livestock activity were presented.

At the opening of the conference, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy Bittor Oroz pointed out that “the Basque Country is making steady progress in the field of agritech, with public-private projects aimed at boosting the competitiveness and efficiency of the agricultural, livestock and forestry sector through the application of these new technologies. It also promotes increased food production to reduce dependence on external resources, and contributes to the adaptation of the primary sector to climate change on its way to achieving climate neutrality“, he added.

Agritech projects

Firstly, Eder Landa, commercial technician at GARLAN, and Asier Uribeetxebarria, researcher at NEIKER’s Plant Production and Protection Department, presented the benefits of precision agriculture in the Basque Country through a detailed vision of their actions on commercial agricultural farms. Among other advantages, they highlighted that this new methodology allows a reduction of up to 20% in the application of fertilisers on soils and crops, thus promoting more efficient and environmentally friendly agricultural management.

Afterwards, Miren Duñabeitia, from AVANZABIO, and Patrick Riga, researcher at NEIKER’s Plant Production and Protection Department, explained the main achievement of the bioponic cultivation system, with which they have managed to increase commercial production by up to 20%, replacing mineral fertilisers with organic fertilisers and biostimulants, and at the same time reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Gerando Brossy, CEO of PAPPSTOR, and Nerea Mandaluniz, researcher at NEIKER’s Animal Production Department, highlighted the importance of digitalisation in extensive livestock farming. During their intervention, they showed how it contributes to optimising the value chain of the livestock sector and highlighted the role of precision livestock farming in the sustainability of the sector.

Finally, the researcher from NEIKER’s Natural Resources Conservation Department, Pilar Merino, told the audience about the project she is developing, which will provide an innovative solution for measuring emissions in real time on dairy cattle farms using sensors.


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