Paris, 26 October 2017 — Backed by a collective of committed individuals from a variety of backgrounds, planet A® was launched today in Paris with a goal that promises to accelerate the agricultural revolution. It expects to achieve that end by developing knowledge transfers and greater sharing, making the exchange of ideas more fluid and creating the conditions for sparking innovation useful to humankind. The planet A® World Forum, the first spoke in the planet A® hub, will take place in June 2018 in Châlons-en-Champagne, France. It is being organized around four component parts: Research and Experimentation, Training and Support, Development and Economy, and the General Public. The planet A® hub will ultimately be housed in the "City of Agriculture", a unique venue that will be built in Châlons-en-Champagne.
"As long as there are people, there will be a need for agriculture." planet A®, at the heart of a collective challenge
Intrinsically linked to the origins of all human civilizations, agriculture has continuously evolved over the past 10,000 years. It has accompanied and, at times, even sparked all great human revolutions. Today, agriculture is once again at the crossroads. It must at the same time ensure the supply of food for the nine billion people expected to populate the earth by 2050, preserve the planet with its model for sustainable farming, and offer economic viability to all players in the value chain, i.e. growers, breeders, processors, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. By doing so through stable business models and sufficient production, agriculture can contribute to the world's geopolitical balance, which is tied directly to access to drinkable water, the preservation of arable land, and the race for habitable territory and breathing space.
Because we live in an open world, these challenges demand an unconditional, global and complete mobilization. The planet A® collective is based on the belief that agriculture must transcend its strengths and overcome antagonisms to generate viable, long-term solutions by strengthening constructive interaction among agricultural players across all activity sectors (food, energy, transport, manufacturing, building, cosmetics, etc.) and local agendas.
"Because of our location in the heart of a powerful and inventive farming region, we have come to believe that agriculture can and must be reinvented to produce sufficient quantities of food, while building a sustainable future for our planet," said Benoist Apparu, mayor of Châlons-en-Champagne and a member of the planet A® collective. "And because we are also located in the heart of Europe, we can see just how interdependent our territories are, and how the decisions of a few can impact the many. By the same token, a project thought up here can be realized elsewhere. We are launching planet A® because as long as there are people, there will be a need for agriculture. Further, the momentum is ideal for a positive agricultural revolution. The needs are critical, but we now have the willingness and the technological and technical means to meet those needs. We are talking about a matter that concerns the entire planet. That's why we are calling upon experts and personalities from various fields the world over to join planet A®, to promote and enable the emergence of innovative solutions."
A hub open to the world to reinvent agriculture
As of 2018, planet A® will be organized into four component parts:
- The Research and Experimentation component will take shape in June 2018 through the first planet A® International Forum in Châlons-en-Champagne. During two days of plenary sessions and workshops, this annual event will bring together international personalities from institutions, academia, international organizations, government decision-making bodies, businesses, and start-ups most concerned about the question of agriculture in all its aspects. The goal of this positive, useful and open forum is to share solutions and projects, to secure commitments and concrete results year after year.
- The Training and Support component will take shape through the creation of an Advanced Agricultural Studies Institute, (Institut des Hautes Etudes De l’Agriculture — IHEDA) that will allow senior executives, high-ranking officials, NGO representatives, elected officials, and labor leaders to benefit from specific training all year long. The institute is aimed at developing and renewing the culture of agriculture in the very people who will be supporting it in tomorrow's world. IHEDA courses, developed in partnership with Reims Champagne-Ardenne University and AgroParisTech, will begin in October 2018 and may be initially offered as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).
- The Development and Economy component will arise with the creation of an agronomics-related startup incubator and business village. The goal is to provide an environment conducive to emulating and creating companies in a territory that has, in particular, developed a center of excellence in smart agriculture.
- The General Public component will take form as an educational space dedicated to plant life cycles for families and young people. It will be part of the City of Agriculture. An architectural competition is expected to lead to a design of the new premises emblematic of agriculture's future. Ultimately, the City of Agriculture will house planet A®'s four component parts and will evolve progressively into a truly global hub to spark the needed agricultural revolution.
Well aware and convinced that all activity sectors are concerned by the world's agricultural challenges, planet A® is a collective initiative that supports innovation. The collective is fully open to experts, organizations and stakeholders from around the world who want to contribute to reinventing agriculture.