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 08 mar 2019 17:00 

Commissioners Hogan and Gabriel in Sofia, Bulgaria to discuss about digitisation of agriculture

Today Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, are participating in the conference Digital4Bees in Sofia, Bulgaria to discuss the impact of the digital transformation on beekeeping and agriculture at large. Commissioner Gabriel presented the opportunities digitization brings to beekeeping and how EU regulation and funding exemplifies this trend.

Commissioner Hogan highlighted the issue of bee health, which the European Commission takes extremely seriously, and outlined how the Common Agricultural Policy and other key European funds are providing strong tools for positive action. While in Sofia, he will also meet the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Rumen Porozhanov, to discuss the proposals for the future Common Agricultural Policy. Apiculture contributes to the sustainable growth and development of the honey sector, which the EU supports through targeted national programmes aimed at fostering the production and marketing of apiculture products. Moreover, in Horizon 2020, the European Commission is already funding research projects to facilitate the adoption and widespread transfer of ICT-based solutions for agriculture, including apiculture. It is also supporting Large Scale Pilots in Internet of Things technologies with a budget of up to 100 million €, out of which 30 million € is planned for the pilot of Smart Agriculture and Food Security. For some time now, news about an increase of bee mortality has been concerning various professionals and the wider public alike.

The Commission has taken important steps to diagnose and prevent bees' mortality, including actions on certain pesticides and a comprehensive study on honey bee colony mortality.

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