What does it mean to be an “Agripreneur”?

What does it mean, in today’s competitive and globalized world, to be an agricultural entrepreneur? Which are the tools to keep up with the times?
Agricultural techniques and production processes have profoundly changed in recent years: surely, the fresh wind that is blowing has intrigued many young people who have decided to take the path to become an “agripreneur”, taking up the productive activities that belonged to their parents (sometimes even to their grandparents).
The world of agriculture – an extremely competitive field characterized by rapid and unpredictable environmental changes – needs young and dynamic minds, interested in experimenting: a good entrepreneur is an innovator, but also someone willing to learn and train. However, his/her personality isn’t enough: it must be combined with technical skills, entrepreneurial competencies and ideas to develop new business opportunities. In fact, while qualities may be inborn – as the passion for agriculture and his entrepreneurial spirit – knowledge and competencies can be improved by dedicated capacity development programs.
In this “path to knowledge”, the rural development policies financed by the European Union play a significant role: they represent the opportunity to access public interventions aimed at promoting the modernization of companies and the protection of the environment.
This type of aid is fundamental: the agri-food sector has to face numerous challenges linked to the necessity to innovate production systems and to respond to the needs of the market. Indeed, the variability of the environment requires tools capable of managing all biophysical and productive factors in their complexity. One of these tools is Precision Agriculture that in recent years has aroused great interest: the agripreneurs have understood that it is not an accessory to beautify the agricultural machine, but a tool to increase profitability and to be competitive on the market. They have demonstrated to possess a methodological approach that allows them to interpret the technological innovations brought by the PA as an opportunity to revitalize the sector and not as a “threat”. This attitude underlines an aspect that characterizes the majority of them: the great passion for their profession, the real keystone for the introduction of the PA in their business and for success.