Telefónica strikes agreement with FAO to help digitalise the agricultural sector

By Johan De Mulder

Telefónica is to work with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to implement digitalisation initiatives in the sector.

The alliance has an initial duration of three years and will focus on three key areas: Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in agriculture, Big Data and data analysis systems and 'Digital Education' and training.

FAO and Telefónica hope one of the main outcomes of the work will see rural communities better supported, with improved access to vital information. It also aims to promote the development of agriculture, food safety and nutrition.

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IoT solutions are already being tested, such as in a water efficiency pilot in South America which is powered by artificial intelligence algorithms. Using specialised hardware, self-generated recommendations are made to local farmers to maximise water efficiency, with the results also shared with the FAO.

"The Internet of Things is an enabler of digital transformation that is already starting to change the landscape of global agriculture," said Telefónica's Chief IoT Officer Vicente Muñoz.

"By taking advantage of this new technology’s benefits, we are aiding in the development of societies and favouring less use of, and greater access to, resources such as water."

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