Belgrade, April 20, 2023 - The first weather stations that were installed in Vojvodina and parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina created 620,500 recommendations for more efficient work in the field and prevention measures against the occurrence of 117 diseases and pests. The information that this innovation brings is crucial for increasing yields, and that is why it is necessary to speed up the digitization process and move from traditional to modern and innovative agricultural production, it was said at the final meeting of the project "Digitalization of municipal land management.
While weather stations in the world are a large part of the daily life of farmers, they are still a novelty in our region, which is why NALED and the company Telegroup, with the support of the German development cooperation implemented by GIZ, started a three-year piloting of the system in the countries of the Western Balkans. 73 of these devices were installed, which are connected with the AgroLife application, with the aim of collecting more information about the use of state land, in order to prevent further degradation of arable land that is leased.
- Sombor, Inđija, Vrbas, Bačka Topola and Subotica are the first local governments in Serbia to receive weather stations, and in just over two years, a total of 3,500 users have been registered. More than a third are tenants of municipal land, who now use AgroLife to record all their activities and, based on that, receive recommendations from weather stations when it's time to go to the field, fertilize, irrigate and protect against pests, which contributes to the preservation of land quality and satisfaction future users, because the activity history is available up to a year ago - said Stefanos Jokić, manager for good administration at NALED.
The AgroLife application, through which farmers monitor all events and organize their production, is available to everyone in the web version and on Google Play and is completely free to download in its basic version. For each plot they cultivate, farmers can easily enter and track plantation data, and have an overview of the agricultural work schedule.
- Through cooperation with a large number of farmers and persons responsible for agriculture from local self-governments, we significantly improved our software solution. As many times before, it turned out that the most important feedback for the development of technological tools is the feedback you get from the users, and in this case there was a lot of it, bearing in mind that more than 90 trainings, trainings and educations were held. Through the sustainability plan and the suggestions we received from users and partners, we are entering the next phase of digitization in agriculture with a great deal of optimism - said Stefan Đurović, business development manager at Telegroup.
The project is supported by the develoPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is regional in nature. The first weather stations were installed in Serbia, then in five more local governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the digitalization process of municipal land management was also implemented in Montenegro. The project was implemented in all three countries in cooperation with partners from the Network for a favorable business environment (BFC network), which consists of NALED, the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Srpska, REDAH and the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro.
- GIZ supported this project, because we wanted to contribute to better control of the use of state agricultural land by tenant farmers. Given that this is the responsibility of the municipal authorities in Serbia and BiH and the competent ministry in Montenegro, we focused on their new skills related to the digitalization of the process of monitoring agricultural works on the issued plots, better infrastructure in the form of weather stations and the improvement of the wider process of issuing land and methods of reporting on land cultivation. I think we have taken a big step, together with all partners, in order to preserve the quality of the land and better returns for both current and future tenants - said project manager at GIZ Amira Omanović.