High tech or green fingers?
People all over the world move from the countryside to cities. They don’t see a future as a farmer and don’t like their sons and daughters to become one; and therefore high technology takes over the role of farmers, whose specific skills and knowledge seem less and less important.
What are the farming systems of the future and which skills and knowledge we expect from farm managers in these systems? Do we need highly educated managers for larger-than-large ‘farms’, with employees who know to push a button when the system says so? Or will we be in need of farmers who know how to valorise their special skills and local knowledge in integrated farms? Do we need highly educated managers who can deal with intelligent systems or intelligent farmers who can deal with the tricks of nature? Walter Rossing, Corné Kempenaar and Simon Oosting tell us about the future systems and the need for farmers.