One of the objectives of VISCA project is to evaluate the replicability potential in the wine sector in different countries globally as well as to evaluate the replicability of the tool in other crops such as (olive oil, cereals, etc.). This evaluation involves exploring EU funding mechanisms for further deployment. During VISCA 2nd Stakeholders’ Workshop, end-users and members from the Project Advisory Board participated at a session to gather inputs on the challenges, requirements and funding for the replicability of VISCA which are summarised below.
Climate change: Challenges facing the Agriculture sector
Climate change is threatening different varieties of agriculture species such as wine-grapes, olives and cereals which might cause a significant reduction in crop quantity and quality. Some of the impacts of climate change include the following:
- Drought and heat waves - in southern regions of the Mediterranean basin– more frequent drought periods together with higher temperatures, especially during the summer, have resulted in water scarcity and, consequently, less water is available for irrigation.
- Frost - In northern and southern Europe, e.g. Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, agricultural productivity has been facing longer frost periods than usual which damage the crops.
- Wildfires - Warmer and drier conditions are expected throughout Europe in the coming decades which will probably exacerbate wildfires. According to the Emergency Management Service of the EU agency Copernicus as of March 1, there have been 480 wildfires in 2019 across Europe.
- Extreme events - High intensity rainfall and/or hail, among other extreme events, have been extended and become more severe in Europe and beyond. The rate of these events is expected to increase due to climate change.
The main challenges of the wine-grapes, olive and cereals sectors in the context of climate change were identified as the following:
- To keep the quality and production of crops
- To deal with extreme events and variations in climate conditions
- To manage the irrigation efficiently according to existent resources and weather conditions
- To prevent or minimize crop diseases and pests especially with their increasing rate due to climate change