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

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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