Connectivity in paddock and on boat – where to from here?

  • 67 pages

  • Published: 23 Oct 2023

  • Author(s): Andrew Skinner, Emma Leonard

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-432-5

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Connectivity is an indispensable driver for the successful integration of digital technologies in agriculture, offering the potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and sustainability for farmers and fishers. However, while rapidly improving, the availability, reliability and affordability of connectivity solutions remain significant hurdles in rural and remote areas, impeding the widespread adoption of digital technologies.

The Connectivity in paddock and on boat – where to from here? project aimed to comprehensively assess the current state of connectivity within Australian agriculture and identify avenues for enhancement and producer support. The project methodology encompassed a multi-faceted approach, including:

  1. Literature review: A thorough examination of existing literature delineated the importance of connectivity for the digitalisation of agriculture.
  2. Stakeholder interviews: Direct interactions with farmers and fishers were conducted to understand their experiences, challenges, and insights related to connectivity.
  3. Process mapping: Six agricultural processes were subjected to process mapping, shedding light on the connectivity requirements inherent to each process.
  4. Technology Radar: We developed a Technology Radar that evaluated the maturity and readiness of various connectivity technologies for agriculture.

The research outcomes resulting from the project revealed the following key findings:

  1. Lack of awareness: Many farmers and fishers remain unaware of the benefits of connectivity and the solutions available to them.
  2. Limited availability: Reliable and cost-effective connectivity options are not uniformly accessible in rural and remote areas.
  3. Complexities in solutions: The array of available connectivity solutions presents a challenge, with farmers and fishers struggling to select the most appropriate solution for their specific needs.
  4. Lack of specialist support: Farmers and fishers frequently lack access to the expertise required for selecting, implementing, and troubleshooting connectivity solutions.
  5. Data deficiency: There is a lack of data concerning the precise connectivity needs of farmers and fishers, hampering the development of targeted solutions.