The agricultural sector is receptive to innovation and digital development, but farmers tend to be cautious in their use of these technologies, according to K&H Bank's innovation-based agricultural research told.
In the research the results of which were sent to the state news agency MTI on Tuesday, the decision-makers responsible for innovation issues of 360 Hungarian agricultural cooperative enterprises with an annual turnover of more than HUF 300 million were surveyed between September 22 and October 14, 2022.
The head of K&H Bank's agricultural development department, István Tresó, said in a statement that half of agricultural companies spent more than 10% of their revenues on innovation and the agricultural sector spent an average of 17% on innovation in the past two years. 48% of firms introduced a new or significantly improved product or service in the past two years.
He pointed out that since 2020, 53% of firms have primarily purchased modern, advanced machinery or equipment, and 33% have spent almost the same proportion on software purchases, automation and in-house R&D activities.
The research also found that only 12% of firms still consider themselves to be leading innovators in the sector, and seven out of ten firms are cautious when it comes to digitalization and innovation.
This may be because farming is often passed down from generation to generation, so tradition and experience play a greater role than an open-minded approach," the report says.
Digital transformation is still a core strategic issue for a small number of agricultural companies, only 7%, while a significant 37% deal with it alongside many other important tasks.
The research shows that farmers are open to technological solutions and are currently using a range of them, such as analyzing data from smart devices or sensors, sensors and meters in vehicles, and smart meters to optimize energy use.
The survey also highlighted the importance of environmental protection for agriculture and the green credentials of the sector. 60% of agricultural companies have made improvements in the last two years that have had a positive environmental impact and 41% of firms plan to make such innovations in the next year, K&H Bank said.
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