South Moravian and Central Bohemian region, The Czech Republic, are agricultural regions neighbouring the capital city Prague (Central Bohemian region) or the second biggest city Brno (South Moravian region).
Both regions (Central Bohemia and South Moravia Region) copes with water scarcity and erosion. Namely, more than 50 % of arable land in the Czech Republic is an erosion endangered area. That is a big challenge for the regions.
The regions were selected as focus regions for the precision farming arrangements due to its potential to be pioneers in the Czech Republic. Many suppliers and universities are settled in the regions, developed the new technologies and in cooperation with farmers adjusted them on the farms.
The study focuses on the flow of knowledge to and among farmers, especially, those active in – and considering entry to – the full range of new technology possibilities offering by current satellite and digital technologies. Moreover, it focuses on the decision process about suitable technologies for the particular business model. Particular attention is paid to distinguishing the knowledge systems of the pioneers and early adopters from the non-adopters.
Precision farming is a new way how to adjust inputs according to local conditions (soil, crops, buffer strips). The previous (the communist cooperative scheme) field arrangement, i.e. big field (more than 30 ha per plot) created good condition for the Czech farmers to uptake advantage of this innovation. The average size of a farm in the sample is 1546 ha in the range from 63 ha to 8000 ha. In the group of the adopters, the majority of farms is over 1 000 ha (nevertheless the range is from 140 to 8000 ha). In the group of non-adopters, the majority has less than 500 ha. The group of non-adopters includes one extra big cooperative (over 5000 ha), which doubles the overall average of the group. Therefore, the average size of them is 720 ha, however the average size without the extreme is 357 ha.
Full report is available here.
Institute of Agricultural Economics and information (UZEI) has a vast experience in working with rural development policy. The department of advisory services provide the certification of accredited advisors. The multi-actor working group, coordinated by the UZEI, prepare the new scheme of advisory services, in the new CAP period.