“Smart Farming”: Between Traceability and Automation

A two days workshop at Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland, September 19-20, 2019

Institute of Geography
Prof. Francisco Klauser: francisco.klauser@unine.ch
Dr. Dennis Pauschinger: dennis.pauschinger@unine.ch
Institute of Anthropology
Prof. Jérémie Forney: jeremie.forney@unine.ch

Keynote by Prof. Michael Carolan, Colorado State University

Link to full programme

Farming is being transformed by smart technologies. Consider autonomous tractors and weeding robots, underground infrastructures with inbuilt sensors, or drones and satellites offering image analysis from the air. Today, smart farms are just as fashionable as smart cities.
More specifically, the ‘smartness’ or ‘Big-Data aspect’ of farming is often set in relation to the connection of various tools, sites, data bases and actors in the farming sector, implying everincreasing data gathering and widening circuits of data flow. Furthermore, smart farming is commonly associated with data processing and analytics, aiming at the automated and
anticipatory management of agriculture. The farm of the future is thus presented as a software-driven system of connections, processes and flows, based on carefully orchestrated techniques of data collection, transfer and analysis.
In this picture, automation and traceability play a fundamental role. On the one hand, they are portrayed as the basic condition for making farming practices and processes more effective, manageable and secure. On the other hand, automation and traceability are also seen to raise major issues in terms of privacy, surveillance, techno-dependency, data security,
economic power relations, etc.
Addressing these problematics, the two-day workshop aims to explore the driving forces behind and implications of differing smart farming initiatives, so as to generate a more detailed picture of the possibilities, limitations and problems evoked by the current digitisation of agriculture. More specifically, bringing together both researchers and practitioners alike, the workshop aims to stimulate interdisciplinary and cross-occupational discussions on, but not limited to, the following topics around smart farming:
● Automation
● Traceability and transparency
● Opportunities and risks
● Power relations and actor networks
● New practices of collaborations
● Economic dependencies
● Exemplification and policy transfer
● Surveillance and data protection

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