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The Future Farmers of France Are Tech-Savvy


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Reading sensors in the greenhouse.

Antoine Mach is a robotics engineer at Neofarm, which operates on just two acres.

Credit: Andrea Mantovani /The New York Times

The Hectar venture hopes to address France's farmer shortage by nurturing technologically adept next-generation growers.

Founder Audrey Bourolleau said ensuring a future agricultural industry requires "a social revolution," while French technology billionaire and main Hectar investor Xavier Niel highlighted the venture's goal "to make agriculture sexy."

The effort involves drawing 2,000 young people from urban, rural, or disadvantaged backgrounds annually and training them as farmer-entrepreneurs who can produce sustainable agriculture ventures, attract investors, and generate profits.

Niel's non-traditional 42 coding school is Hectar's template, and the program offers free tuition and training, without state-sanctioned diplomas.

From The New York Times
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