Agriculture and Technology

UK Farmers look to digital and technology skills

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In the countryside there is a new agricultural revolution afoot. Industrial farming is currently evolving to embrace new hi-tech concepts in food production to increase efficiency and productivity. The growing agritech sector aims to put the power of technological tools in farmers’ hands, pushing the boundaries to make farming much more profitable.

Food producers globally are facing pressure on multiple fronts, such as competition from international markets, the challenges of a changing climate and feeding growing populations. For UK producers in particular, Brexit is looming large and labour shortages are starting to appear in places where they might once have been filled by foreign workers.

New advancements include monitoring systems using sensors, drones and satellite information so that farmer’s can keep a closer and more detailed eye on the state and health of their crops and animals, meaning they can react faster to emerging situations and make more efficient use of resources with better timing. Automation of labour intensive jobs frees workers to spend time on other tasks and areas of the business.

UK farmers are finding that tech talent is becoming more and more crucial in the industry. A recent report of UK farmers by McDonald’s revealed that 61% of the farming community believed that technology will have an impact on their business over the next five years. Nearly 75% said that they would need more access to digital and technology skills and more than half to data and coding knowledge.

81% went on to say that access to the right skills is their top priority over the coming twelve months. Farmers clearly see the direction they must take to stay competitive.

Rural Britain is however notorious for its limited internet access and broadband infrastructure. With the agricultural industry moving towards greater adoption of more advanced technology, inevitably there is going to be a greater need to ensure that farms and rural communities are better connected so that they can exploit the advantages of agritech to its fullest potential.

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