Europe’s Plan For Sustainable Agriculture Starts With Running Broadband To Farms

Europe’s Green Deal with farmers includes the broadband internet access they’ll need to save money and the environment.
“If we want to really reform our agricultural policy, we will have to introduce broadband everywhere in the agricultural world,” said Frans Timmermans, the European Commission executive vice-president for the European Green Deal.
“We have to work with precision agriculture,” Timmermans said yesterday at the Web Summit broadcast from Lisbon. “We will have to work with new technologies. We will have to introduce new ways of farming at the very fundamental level.”
Broadband access will enable farmers to quickly identify and respond to diseases in crops and livestock or to deliver fertilizers and other supplements only to those areas of fields where data shows they are needed.
The EU has supported the development of internet platforms for farmers, such as
“With new digital services integrating certain yield maps on the combine at harvest, or in satellite data, we can detect where are the problem areas on the field so that [the farmer] can only spray out certain fertilizers or plant protection on that spot,” said CEO Maximillian von Löbbecke. “So there's a huge reduction in chemicals put out on the field,” said 365farmnet CEO Maximillian von Löbbecke.
“However, that only works with connectivity…. Whatever you want to do in digital services, you need broadband,” he said. “Without connectivity in rural areas the farmer cannot use these services, so he cannot use modern things in terms of the optimization of his logistics or his processes, or whatever he puts out on the field.”
To Timmermans, the digital enabling of agriculture mimics every other sector. In addition to an agricultural revolution, the EU’s top priorities will be a wave of building renovations, new policies on energy, a revitalization of rail, and the electrification of cars.
“Everything is technology driven,” Timmermans said. “With every reform that we do, digitization will play a big role. One of the biggest enablers we have in the Green Deal is digitization.”
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