AgroForum Mare Balticum – Digital Future of the Global Agriculture

AgroForum Mare Balticum – Digital Future of the Global Agriculture

17th – 19th April 2018

                   Agroforum Mare Balticum as a rural development forum acting as a bridge between the East and West will take place for the sixth time and the need for such a medium has become very clear. Our forum enables three-level discussions between policymakers, research institutions and entrepreneurs with the help of the main international organisations in the sector.

                   The focus this year will be on the digital future of global agriculture. The topic has been in the spotlight for several years and the European Commission is currently developing its digital single market strategy to make the agricultural sector and rural areas in Europe more digitalised and data-empowered. However, there is still a need for clear solutions.

                   Digitalisation of agriculture helps to produce more with less and provides transparency for all citizens and an ease of bureaucratic systems for producers. Thus, the main focus of the conference will be on the digital data produced in the agricultural sector and the possibilities, limitations and rights in its usage. Huge amounts of data is created daily in agriculture, animal husbandry and food production regarding soil characteristics, nutrient and fertiliser use, plant protection, yield, animal welfare, health, productivity, the origin of resources, use of additional substances and so on. With this, one critical question remains – who owns the data? Is it the farmer or the technology company? In addition, the usage rights of this data are still unclear. Should the use of data be priced and by whom? The in-depth discussions of the conference will look into innovation, smart solutions and digitalisation of global agriculture, and how it influences our society in general.

                   The forum will involve the countries bordering the Baltic Sea (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Russia) and the Eastern Partnership countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Georgia). Kazakhstan, one of the biggest grain producers in the world, and China, a development leader in many sectors, have also been invited.

                   The forum will take place during the annual international Agricultural Fair Maamess XXVI, which our participants will have a chance to visit. It is the biggest agricultural and rural development fair in our region, bringing together more than 500 exhibitors and more than 40 000 visitors from 10 countries.

More information:

Venue: Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU); Assembly Hall, Kreutzwaldi St. 1, Tartu

Language: English and Russian are the official languages of the conference.


17. April

Arrival in Tartu

20.00 Mayors reception in Tartu Town Hall, welcome by Mayor of Tartu

18. April

Conference (EMU main building assembly hall, Kreutzwaldi 1A, Tartu)

Moderator: Ants-Hannes Viira, Estonian University of Life Sciences

8.30 - 9.30 Registration and welcome coffee

9.30 - 12.30 Opening plenary

Welcoming words by Prof. Mait Klaassen, the rector of EMU, and by Mr Tarmo Tamm, Estonian Minister of Agriculture

Keynote speeches by FAO, OECD, European Commission, CBSS, and representatives of China

Ms Yuriko Shoji, Deputy Regional Representative, Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, FAO (confirmed)

Representative of OECD (tbc)

Mr Dušan Chrenek, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG AGRI (tbc)

Representative of International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) (tbc)

12.30 - 13.30 Lunch

13.30 - 15.30 Thematic sessions (respective rooms), plenary continues

GROUP 1: Ministers and others with invitations only

GROUP 2: Digitalisation of the agricultural production

GROUP 3: Use of the digital data in the agriculture

GROUP 4: Increasing Animal Welfare to Reduce Antibiotics Use in Animal Husbandry

15.30 - 16.00 Coffee break

16.00 - 16.45 Sum-up plenary (main building assembly hall) - conclusions; reports of roundtables, chairs’ summary

16.45 - 17.30 Summarising key-note presentation

19.00 - 22.00 Conference dinner

19. April

Conference continues (EMU main building, Kreutzwaldi 1A, Tartu)

8.30 - 9.00 Registration and welcome coffee

9.00 - 11.30 Closing plenary on future visions (main building, assembly hall)

11.00-11.20 Wrap up and closing of the conference

11.20 - 12.00 Coffee break and walk to the fair.

12.00 Opening of the Agricultural fair 2018. Visit to the fair.


Conference fee

The conference is free of charge.

Organisers cover the following expenses:

reception by the Mayor of Tartu;

conference materials;

catering (lunches, refreshments);

conference dinner;

entrance to biggest Baltic Agricultural fair Maamess 2018 held on 19th to 21st April 2018 in Tartu. 

Participants will pay for their own accommodation and transport to and from Estonia. If you plan to attend from outside the EU/EEA and need a visa support letter from the Schengen zone please let us know well in advance and we will supply one.


                   For your convenience, a number of rooms has been prebooked in the following hotels. Please let us know, if you need accommodation.  Please hurry with your bookings, as there is international agricultural fair at the same time taking place in Tartu and the demand for accommodation is high due to limited places. More information:

Posted in News, News(en) on May 03, 2018