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Romanian Agency Embraces AI for EU Farm Funds

 |  March 25, 2024

Romania’s Agency for Financing Rural Investments (AFIR) has embraced artificial intelligence (AI) to facilitate farmers’ access to EU funds. This innovative approach marks a significant step forward in leveraging technology to enhance efficiency and accessibility in agricultural financing.

AFIR revealed to Reuters on Monday that it embarked on this transformative journey a little over two years ago by integrating robots from the renowned software automation company, UiPath. These robots have been tasked with the arduous process of accessing state databases to retrieve crucial land registry and judicial records necessary for farmers, entrepreneurs, and state institutions applying for EU funds.

George Chirita, the director of AFIR, emphasized the pivotal role of AI-driven automation in expediting key processes for farmers while optimizing their efficacy. He stated, “AI-based automation plays an extremely important part in speeding key processes for farmers and making them more efficient.”

Since the adoption of these robotic assistants, AFIR has efficiently managed financing requests amounting to a staggering 5.32 billion euros ($5.75 billion) from over 50,000 stakeholders, including farmers, companies, and local institutions. Moreover, the utilization of robots has yielded substantial time savings, equating to approximately 784 days’ worth of document searches for AFIR personnel.

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AFIR’s commendable efforts underscore a proactive approach towards modernization and digitalization in agricultural financing, aligning with broader initiatives aimed at advancing Romania’s digital economy. Over the past two decades, the agency has disbursed funds totaling 21 billion euros, contributing significantly to the growth and sustainability of the rural sector.

The successful integration of AI into AFIR’s operations serves as a testament to the transformative potential of technology in streamlining bureaucratic procedures and enhancing service delivery. By harnessing the power of automation, Romania stands poised to bolster its agricultural sector, empower its farming communities, and accelerate its journey towards digital maturity.

As AFIR continues to pioneer innovative solutions, it sets a compelling example for other EU member states, demonstrating the tangible benefits of embracing AI-driven automation in fostering economic development and prosperity, particularly in sectors crucial to the nation’s growth and resilience.

Source: Reuters