Enhancement of postgraduate studies on sustainable agriculture and future farming systems

Block seminars on module 1 «SMART agriculture and digitalization»

Block seminars on module 1 «SMART agriculture and digitalization» Block seminars on module 1 «SMART agriculture and digitalization»

The first SAGRIS block seminar on Module 1 “SMART agriculture and digitalization” was held in a hybrid format due to COVID-19 constraints. The module leading universities – Novosibirsk SAU from Russia and KazNARU from Kazakhstan - hosted PhD-students and teaching staff from the respective countries. A video conference was arranged between the countries, whereas scientists and experts from the European Union connected online.

The programme of the block seminar was intensive and included the following sessions: interactive lectures conducted by scientists from EU partners (Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland), workshops, group SMARTagro projects assignments, integration into scientific community and presentation of own PhD-students’ research, practice-oriented tasks and study trips to the leading agricultural enterprises of Russia and Kazakhstan: breeding factory “Irmen” in Russia and Agrohab "Centre for Sustainable Agriculture" of KazNARU and the experimental farm Saimasai in Kazakhstan.

On the final day of the block seminar, PhD-students from Russia and Kazakhstan presented elaborated SMARTagro group projects, in which they proposed their ideas on application and promotion of smart farming tools and smart technologies in agriculture. This was followed by a panel discussion where the leading manufacturers of agricultural machinery, agricultural producers, representatives of regional authorities and research institutes discussed the topical issues of smart farming and digitalization.  The discussion turned out to be very lively and vivid; participants discussed the key areas of digitalisation in agriculture relevant to Russia and Kazakhstan, federal projects that stimulate growth of digitalisation and improve its efficiency, existing barriers to implementing digital technologies in the agricultural industry and ways to solve them, etc.

In conclusion, the SAGRIS project leader Professor Heinrich Schüle (University of Nürtingen-Geislingen) summed up the results and received feedback from postgraduate students. Novosibirsk SAU and KazNARU awarded certificates of advanced training to all the participants of the Block Seminar.