Monitoring activities with machine learning 

Satellites and algorithms

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) is committed to sustainable, agricultural, innovative and international entrepreneurship. The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) represents a partnership between the agricultural sector and society, and between Europe and the European farmers. CAP 2023-2027 went into effect on January 1st, 2023. RVO is responsible for the implementation of the CAP 2023-2027. Of course, a lot needs to happen for this implementation. The implementation of the CAP consists of various projects, including the Area Monitoring System (AMS). Martin and Patrick from ITsPeople help RVO with the implementation of AMS.  

Making it work 

Martin: “All European Member States must implement an AMS. An AMS is a system that monitors which agricultural activities take place on an agricultural plot based on satellite images. That all seems very futuristic, but it is less complex than people think. The satellite images are a source of data that is largely automatically analyzed using machine learning and rule-based algorithms. For example: if the density of biomass on a plot of grass decreases drastically in six days, there is a good chance it has been mowed. You can also recognize crops by a growth pattern over time. 

As Project Lead, I am responsible for the implementation of the AMS. These are mainly ICT products, but also, for example, communication towards the sector and manuals for implementation. My goal is to create a cross departmental business flow so we can implement AMS successfully with the team.”  

Patrick: “An AMS truly enables RVO to achieve data-informed decision-making. For each plot in the register, the system generates an indication, based on all available satellite data during the year of that plot, as to whether it is likely that the activities required on the plot have been carried out to qualify for the requested subsidy. This indication enables RVO to estimate the accuracy of the paid subsidies. In addition, because we can make such a statement for the majority of the plots in the register, RVO-driven inspection of the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority can, in future, be carried out in a much more targeted manner on plots that have a higher risk profile.” 

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) is committed to a sustainable and strong economy. They not only want to meet today’s needs, but also ensure the economic and natural resources for future generations. With more than 6,000 employees, RVO is committed to creating a sustainable future together. RVO is part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. 

“You can always call us for innovative projects where something completely new needs to be implemented and where large amounts of data need to be structured, followed by insights from that data. We are happy to help!” 

Martin Ruiter – Project Manager