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Victoria to start On-Farm Internet of Things trial as part of the digital agriculture initiative

The Labor Government has begun a global search in order to find cutting-edge Agriculture Technology (AgTech) that will support its On-Farm Internet of Things (IoT) trial.

According to the announcement made by the Victorian Government, the trial is a cornerstone of the A$ 27 million investment of the Labor Government in digital agriculture.

The trial will investigate issues from network connectivity through to on-farm Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford explained that AgTech is the next revolution in farming and that they are proud to lead the way, giving Victorian farmers the best tools available to capitalise on the world stage.

At present, the Labor Government has sought companies to submit tenders to build IoT networks that will enable the farmers to participate in the trial.

This will cover the major agricultural sectors of Australia’s state of Victoria such as dairy, horticulture, meat production and broad-acre cropping.

Minister Pulford added that Agtech, including IoT, has the capacity to change the agricultural landscape for decades to come. So the government is doing the research on the ground to ensure it can deliver the results it promises for Victorians.

Tenders are being asked for the establishment of IoT networks for each of the four trial regions. The regions are around Maffra, Tatura, Serpentine and Birchip.

The establishment of the networks will allow deliver the connectivity required to enable the use of on-farm IoT solutions.

After this, there will be a second request, which will invite submission of proposals from agriculture IoT providers that will supply applications and devices for the four farm types included in the trial.

The farmers who are participating in the trial will be able to select which IoT solutions to trial on their farm. This will be financially supported by Agriculture Victoria.

The farmers will be able to make more informed decisions and improve farm performance, with the help of the IoT solutions used in the trial, since the solutions will provide greater information through monitoring of farm variables.

She concluded that this is a fantastic opportunity for farmers and agtech providers to get down to the nitty-gritty of what works and what does not, breaking down barriers such as a lack of connectivity, skills and capital to invest.

The trial is just one part of the Connecting Victoria initiative of the Labor Government. This initiative is aiming to ensure that regional communities become digitally connected through free public Wi-Fi pilots, new towers to fix mobile blackspots and the A$ 45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program to address regional priorities.

The Requests for Proposal can be accessed here. Agreements are expected to be signed later this year.

In line with this, Agriculture Victoria will also soon be recruiting farmers to participate in the trials. To those who are interested to register, please visit this.

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