Digital agriculture includes several tools and sensors which take advantage of internet connection. The application of digital agriculture can improve the sustainability of the agricultural system, thanks to the smarter management of inputs. Internet connection plays a key role in the utilization of digital tools (e.g. DSS, IoT, cloud computing systems, and telemetry) in agriculture. According to this, a limited and weak internet connection in agricultural areas may reduce the spreading of digital tools and, consequently, reduce the sustainability of the agricultural system. In this study, the 4G internet connection coverage was analyzed in the agricultural areas of Italy, compared with the surface of the main crop types, and then analyzed in terms of its impact on agriculture production (net primary productivity). According to the results, poor internet connection strongly affects heterogeneous agricultural areas, pasture, and wood arboricultural areas. Similarly, a part of the surface classified as permanent crops and non-irrigated arable land is affected by a weak internet connection. The internet connection coverage showed a significant effect on the production of arable crops and tree crops, while its effect is neglectable in pasture and wood arboriculture areas. Such conditions should be analyzed by policymakers to implement policies to fill such a rural digital divide.

Connectivity in rural areas: a case study on internet connection in the Italian agricultural areas

Marco Sozzi;Ahmed Kayad;Giovanni Ferrari;Alessandro Zanchin;Stefano Grigolato;Francesco Marinello
2021

Abstract

Digital agriculture includes several tools and sensors which take advantage of internet connection. The application of digital agriculture can improve the sustainability of the agricultural system, thanks to the smarter management of inputs. Internet connection plays a key role in the utilization of digital tools (e.g. DSS, IoT, cloud computing systems, and telemetry) in agriculture. According to this, a limited and weak internet connection in agricultural areas may reduce the spreading of digital tools and, consequently, reduce the sustainability of the agricultural system. In this study, the 4G internet connection coverage was analyzed in the agricultural areas of Italy, compared with the surface of the main crop types, and then analyzed in terms of its impact on agriculture production (net primary productivity). According to the results, poor internet connection strongly affects heterogeneous agricultural areas, pasture, and wood arboricultural areas. Similarly, a part of the surface classified as permanent crops and non-irrigated arable land is affected by a weak internet connection. The internet connection coverage showed a significant effect on the production of arable crops and tree crops, while its effect is neglectable in pasture and wood arboriculture areas. Such conditions should be analyzed by policymakers to implement policies to fill such a rural digital divide.
2021
2021 IEEE International Workshop on Metrology for Agriculture and Forestry, MetroAgriFor 2021 - Proceedings
978-166540533-1
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3405557
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