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Cows feeding in a farm in front of the methanation units.

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Rural areas are beginning to work with SUEZ to support the agricultural transition. Last year, the API project4 emerged in the Lyon city region (France) to develop short food supply chains. The next step after smart cities is to develop local digital platforms supporting smart rural areas . The core features (quantifying environmental impact, traceability and logistical optimisation) are already available from SUEZ, at our Visio centres or through our On Connect solutions for example.

China and the United States, new frontiers

Once all these solutions are mature in Europe, we aim to develop them in the rest of the world, Pierre Achard forecasts. SUEZ is eyeing two markets in particular, North America and China. The United States is already the world s biggest producer of agricultural products. With climates similar to our Mediterranean climate in Florida and California, we can contribute our expertise to this market, explains Juan Antonio Guijarro. Meanwhile, China does not produce enough food for its population and has to import on a huge scale. There is a great need to improve the efficiency of agriculture. We therefore wish to bring our expertise to modernise and develop the market.

4 - API (Agriculture Périurbaine Innovante, or innovative peri-urban innovation) is a project supported by the Chambre d agriculture du Rhône, the syndicat mixte hydraulique agricole du Rhône, Blue Line Logistics, SUEZ and Eiffage. The Chambers of Agriculture represent and support the development of farmers. The Mixed Hydraulic Union supervises the preliminary investigations for the implementation of irrigation projects in the department. It also supports farmers in their irrigation projects. See p.52-53.