ČZU at the exhibition Země živitelka

In the spirit of the exhibition's subtitle "On the way to sustainability", the university has prepared a rich programme for experts and the general public.

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague will not be absent from this year's Země živitelka exhibition, which will take place in České Budějovice from 24th August 2023. Sustainability is a fundamental principle for the university, which is reflected in all areas of its activities: in science, research, teaching, but also, among other things, in the care of the campus in Prague Suchdol. Precision farming, the environmental importance of agriculture and adaptation to climate change are therefore natural choices when designing the CZU stand.

CZU thus becomes part of an important gathering of professionals and those interested in agriculture, food and the environment. Information and presentations will be available at the university's stand and there will be opportunities to consult with leading experts in their fields. Visitors to this major event will have the opportunity to learn about innovative approaches and research in the field of sustainable agriculture. Experts from Czech University of Life Sciences will present several key topics.

Milan Kroulík from the Faculty of Engineering will present innovations in the field of precision farming that enable efficient use of resources and minimise the negative impact on the environment. A growing population and the effects of climate change place a huge responsibility on the agricultural sector to increase production and productivity, all in line with nature conservation and the concept of sustainability. At the moment, we are also reaching limits  of technological performance, and ensuring the necessary food production in the future will involve a significant modification of production processes which will rely on digital technologies, sensors, data and robotics. "Precision agriculture has become synonymous with modern technology. As the digitisation of agriculture progresses, other terms are emerging, such as Agriculture 4.0, SmartFarming and even Agriculture 5.0. In these technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, automation and robotics play important roles. Equally important are other concepts that together support decision-making processes, sustainable production and the reduction of overproduction: big data, autonomous robots, sensors, cloud computing, 3D printing, nanotechnology, genetics, data storage, additive manufacturing or M2M (machine to machine communication)," explains Milan Kroulík.

Tereza Hnátková from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences (FŽP) will present The Centre for Water, Soil and Landscape, which deals with the effective fight against drought and floods in the field of research, education, design and implementation of landscapes adapted to the conditions of climate change. She will focus on sub-measures within the concept of water management in landscapes, such as water-efficient irrigation, rainwater harvesting and retention, use of recycled water, protection of natural water resources, efficient runoff and drainage, erosion control measures, monitoring and research, awareness and education, cooperation and stakeholder involvement. "I am delighted to be able to introduce visitors of Země živitelka to the Smart Landscapes project, which consists of individual, closely cooperating expert teams mapping the full breadth of climate change and adaptation to it," says Tereza Hnátková.

Laura Míčková from the Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources (FAPPZ) will focus on the challenges that climate change brings to agriculture and food production and possible strategies to ensure food security. She will present a unique pan-European project called EJP SOIL, which brings together leading European institutions working on soil quality. "The project focuses, among other things, on measures against soil erosion, increasing the efficiency of agricultural production, modelling the impact of drought on crop yields and improving soil water retention," says Laura Míčková. There will also be a presentation of the DRIFT-FOOD project focused on food technology and the production and innovation of locally produced food. "Our other successful projects include the ECO-READY project, which deals with the impact of climate change on agri-food chains, or the METROFOOD-CZ project, which is a large infrastructure focused on agriculture, nutrition and food science," adds Laura Míčková.

Jan Banout from the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences (FTZ) will present new developments in the field of food self-sufficiency in the context of global challenges. Food security and food production are facing key challenges worldwide due to population growth and increasing pressure for higher food production and consumption. "Fundamental food security issues include up to 30% loss of food resources due to inappropriate processing technologies and food waste, as well as low agrobiodiversity of production, with 50% of food resources being provided by three key crops (maize, rice, wheat). Current food production also contributes a non-negligible 19% to 30% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions," says Professor Banout. His team's research focuses on innovative renewable energy-based food processing technologies that lead to reduced losses in food production while reducing the negative impacts on global climate change. In this area, the use of solar food drying technology is of particular interest. The research also includes a focus on new food processing techniques with the possibility of using new, little-known foods to ensure sustainable food production and improve the final quality of the foods being studied. Last but not least, the team is also involved in research and testing of innovative food preservation techniques based on natural substances, including screening of potentially interesting natural preservatives.

Igor Krejčí from the Faculty of Economics and Management (PEF) will take visitors into the world of management simulators, scenario testing, effective decision-making and sustainable business. He will present tools that help to optimise decision-making in the agricultural environment.

The recently introduced Klíšt'apka app has attracted a lot of interest from the media and the public. "The health of visitors to the countryside and employees working in the forest is a priority. That is why the development team of Czech University of Life Sciences and Forest of the Czech Republic have once again set a bold goal - to ensure the safety of people and their animal friends from the invisible dangers lurking in our forests. The newly created mobile app Klíšt'apka predicts tick activity and abundance and the risk of Lyme disease infection based on forest classification, habitat and weather. The interactive map is based on almost 30,000 analysed ticks and the development of the app is constantly progressing - ticks never sleep," says Zdeněk Vacek, one of the experts involved in the development of the aptly named app.

"I am very pleased that in cooperation with the faculties we have put together a team and a programme that enables visitors to the CZU stand to explore with us the path to sustainability in a crucial area of life, i.e., agriculture. We cordially invite all interested visitors to our stand and look forward to seeing them," says Karla Mráčková, Director of the CZU Communication and PR Division.


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