Resilience is an important factor also in agriculture. New technologies for automation and data collection in the field of smart farming optimize agriculture and at the same time help to save resources and protect the climate. However, this also increases dependence on central services where collected data is stored. A failure of the internet connection or the central service due to a cyberattack or a crisis can lead to production losses at all connected farms and, in the worst case, to supply shortages.

AgriRegio aims to demonstrate a solution with more resilience by building decentralized sensor networks locally for each farm. The project by the Department of Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC) led by emergenCITY scientist Professor Christian Reuter relies on open-source technologies to collect and analyze data from multiple sensors. The sensor data is transmitted by radio, which guarantees continued functionality in the event of an Internet failure. The data is stored locally and independently of external service providers on the individual farms in a “HofBox”, a low-cost server that was introduced as part of the previous project “GeoBox Infrastructure” and is being continuously developed.

AgriRegio will be tested during the next two years on farms in the Nahe-Donnersberg region in Rheinland-Pfalz, that volunteered for the project. The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) with funding of around 800,000 euros.